If you are developing or already own an SME (small-to-medium enterprise), you may have found yourself denying the power of your small, but mighty, business.
- I can’t make a difference—I don’t have enough followers.
- I can’t make big money—I don’t have enough customers.
- I can’t compete—I don’t have enough resources.
- I can’t support the lifestyle I desire—there’s not enough income potential.
- I can’t compete globally—I’m too small.
And then someone comes along, like me, to tell you why you’re wrong.
Small businesses are grossly underestimated by their industries, the market, the consuming public…but most tragically, by their owners.
How are you undervaluing your small business? And what will it take to get you to see its true potential? Let’s see.
Small Brands, and How They Make Big Differences
- Today’s consumer is more interested than ever in the process. Traditionally, smaller brands have been better at (and more capable of) providing a unique, personalised customer experience. However, in the past, those customised, exclusive experiences were reserved for small towns and communities. Now, consumers crave that personal attention and relationship, and will dive into a flooded market in search of a small business that’s still willing to provide a distinctive journey on the way to (and after) purchase. Large corporations, for the most part, find it difficult to provide this.
- Small brands are more nimble and capable of evolution. The sheer number and size of processes involved in running a massive corporation are mind-numbing; and making any change requires lengthy protocol. This can be problematic, particularly when you consider we live in a world where consumer trends are changing at the speed of light. The truth? Those companies willing and able to shift in anticipation of those trends will win. Small business can change more quickly, without profoundly affecting adjacent operations or their branded customer experiences.
- Small brands are more likely to be trusted. The past few years haven’t been good for big business—particularly when it comes to reputation. Corporate greed has been present in headlines all too often, and consumers are increasingly reluctant to trust logos over faces. Small businesses have those faces, and they’re ready to prove, firsthand and in-person, why they’re more trustworthy than high-rises and autoresponders.
- Being relevant is more important than being seen. Certainly, the big brands are more visible. They have the capital to put their logos at every turn. However, most of their investments are in broad, sweeping campaigns that can put them top-of-mind, but leave them seeming washed-out and overused. Small brands, on the other hand, have a unique opportunity to hit their targets dead-on...and hit them hard.
- Small brands remember the people. Slip into a board meeting at a massive conglomerate, and you’ll hear words like consumer, prospects and conversions. Attend one for a small business, and you’ll hear things like Smith and customer appreciation day. You see, small businesses are in their communities (actual or virtual), working amongst the people and getting to know their ideal customers. They are developing the types of meaningful relationships that lead to word of mouth advertising, trust-building and lifelong loyalty. Big business doesn’t have the ability (or the desire) to engage in these types of activities, and their engagement levels and brand loyalty are suffering.
- Small brands have eclectic appeal, particularly in a global market. What American hasn’t dreamt of slipping through Venice in a gondola? And what Italian wouldn’t enjoy sampling an American hot dog shop gut-buster (maybe just once)? These dreams might not be for everyone, but the point is this: small businesses have the distinct advantage of being able to bring one culture into another…even more now that we have global communication technology, commerce and shipping at our fingertips. Small businesses give people the chance to experience other cultures, the way the natives do, in ways that big business could never effectively manage.
I hope you’re starting to realise that your SME’s size isn’t a shortcoming, but rather a distinct advantage in an over-crowded, exhausted-consumer market. You are more capable than your larger competitors of offering people what they really want…and to overlook that truth would be doing your brand a massive disservice.
Are you interested in learning more about how small brands can effectively compete in a global market? Then I would strongly recommend that you join the Brand Builders Club, where you’ll be given daily challenges that will show you how to build a brand that makes a difference in your life, your customers’ lives, your community…and even the world. Click here to learn more and to get started.