By definition an SME is a firm that doesn’t have the access to the same kind of resources as a major international corporation. This affects many different areas of operations, from staffing levels to the ability to use funds to invest in opportunities at short notice.In the past there may have been fewer opportunities for smaller companies to compete with bigger rivals. From advertising budgets through to customer relations advantages, larger businesses used to hold all the best cards but this situation is beginning to change.If your small business does find itself struggling with bigger rivals, a Company Voluntary Arrangement could be one option you look at in order to keep the business running as a going concern.
However, there have always been some basic ways in which a small concern could trump a more powerful competitor and with today’s technological innovations there are even more tools that can be used to create a more level playing field for businesses of every size and scale.
Although not having impressive office or retail space and a far less visible public presence may all seem like negatives for an SME, the savings from avoiding these factors can be really beneficial.
Instead of trying to compete with companies that have much greater buying power in these terms, an SME with a careful and clever budget can reduce overheads and increase headline profits, which at the end of the day is basically what being in business is all about. This means that you can keep as much of your earned money as profit as is possible and this is the secret to successful growth and something larger corporations can often forget.
Major companies usually start out small and build on a reputation for good service, value for money, or both. However, once things get to a certain size control from the centre is often lost, either through franchising or sometimes even hostile takeovers, and the core values which gave the firm its initial success can be eroded.
In a small company it is far easier to keep a hands-on control over things such as customer service and client interaction, so that a consistent level can be maintained and people who use the services will know that they can rely on getting the same result time after time. Pride yourself on offering a personalised service and stay true to the core ethics of your company. This way you will present a positive image of your company to your target audience, attracting their business and simultaneously earning their respect.
Although it may seem that having a significant budget and dedicated R&D departments might mean big companies are best placed to take advantage of technological advances, sometimes the opposite is the case. In truth, it all depends on the individual business and the way in which they approach different ventures.
When systems are used over a wide number of locations by a large number of staff, the practicalities of updating can be prohibitive. In contrast, a small company can move quickly to utilise and implement new methods and technology, giving them a distinct marketplace advantage in certain scenarios.
The trick is to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of your operation and target your actions accordingly. Remember that every business has different merits which it can play on – regardless of their size. All small businesses need to do is recognise the areas where they excel and work on this whilst simultaneously finding ways to improve any areas where they fall a little short of the mark or struggle to compete with bigger firms.