Jane Jones
Jane Jones Manager at SavvySME

How can small companies compete with large businesses?

Does bigger equal better?  Or does a small business have a more personal approach?

Top voted answer
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Top 10% Business Ideas

Hey @Jane Jones that is a great question. I actually mentor startups on this topic all the time. I can’t give everything away from my proprietary approach, but I will say that many entrepreneurs overestimate their large competitors and don’t consider their small competitors enough.

Big companies have scale, but that doesn’t mean everything they are doing is the best. This is why trying to copy what other companies are doing is an extremely bad idea. If you copy a bad idea on a small scale it can lead to you closing your business before you ever get it going.

Many people also don’t give small businesses enough credit either. To stay in business as a small venture you must have a loyal and hopefully passionate customer base. But again, it is harder for these ventures to pull off marketing and advertising efforts to match a big competitor.

Small size gives you agility. You also don’t have to worry about losing all your business by trying something different (big businesses usually avoid that type of risk). But remember, not all risk is bad if it is calculated.

One of the biggest temptations a budding venture must avoid falling prey to is complacency. Because if they are not careful they will switch from thinking agilely to the status quo of big corporations and they may lose their innovative edge as their business grows.

There are plenty of books and case studies that cover companies that made bad decisions and companies that have really excelled. As someone that consults as a Product Developer and Business Strategist I spend a lot of time looking into these issues and how to help my clients navigate accordingly.

Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

Really interesting response, it sounds like you have a lot of experience in this field. Do you think being agile and perhaps more flexible in business is key in the current situation? 

User
User