Five advantages Belfast small businesses have over big business

For small businesses in Belfast, competing with larger companies can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the game.

Promoted by JPI Marketing
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:24 pm
Faster, more agile and more personal - how small businesses can have an advantage over big companies

Yes, your competitors may have an established customer base. And yes they may have the money and capacity for solid and sophisticated marketing campaigns. But don’t be disheartened.

Like a speedboat compared to an oil-tanker, smaller businesses can move faster than larger ones. You can also be more personable than your high street counterparts, connecting with your customers in a far more meaningful way than they ever can.

We’ve compiled a few advantages small businesses like yours have over big business (and how to use them).

1. Be agile

Research carried out in the first half of 2020 found that independent shops have been "more agile" and better at surviving Covid-19 than chain stores.

When you are a small business, you can certainly be more flexible when it comes to thinking on your feet and steering past obstacles.

You don’t have to go to the head office to consult when you want to test new products or take advantage of a new trend. Small business owners can make their own decisions, rather than filling in forms and waiting weeks for someone to get round to responding.

This makes it easier to quickly identify and react to problems, whether it’s a product malfunction, a demoralised workforce... or a worldwide pandemic.

Check out this list of small businesses who adapted and excelled during the coronavirus pandemic .

2. Offer the personal touch

People crave to be able to connect to a human being - rather than an disembodied voice over the phone. As a small business you can add that special personal touch that big businesses can’t easily do.

Some larger businesses operate around a "one size fits all" mentality, trying to appeal to a huge and diverse range of people rather than focusing on the needs of the individual customer. Alternatively, small businesses like yours can take the time to really get to know the customer. With frequent communication and attention to detail, you can evaluate their needs and develop a solution that is more customised to them.

And consumers agree, with a recent survey revealing 76% expect companies to have a good "understanding of their needs and emotions”.

3. Be different

Everything can move faster in a small business, including creative solutions and even development time. So when it comes to executing new ideas quickly, small businesses are actually better suited to innovation than larger organisations.

While creativity can be somewhat stifled at a big company, small businesses have the space to really show their uniqueness.

Different doesn’t have to be drastic. Show off your personality in your socials, website and advertising content. Whether your tone is quirky, sarcastic or more formal, showing customers who you are is a great way to establish a closer connection. If you’re not quite sure what that is yet, here’s some tips on finding your own brand voice .

You can garner a lot of credibility from customers if you create something new and original, so don’t waste any time hiding behind your larger counterparts. Check out the top marketing trends for 2021.

4. Specialise

As a small business, you’re likely focused on a specific skill set or expertise. Whether you specialise in DIY or cookery, you can target niche markets that big business can’t afford to pinpoint.

Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, you can narrow your focus to your own expertise. This will offer two main advantages – you will become the go-to person for people who need your services and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

It looks like this paid off, with 51% UK consumers finding the staff more knowledgeable in a small business, compared to 15% at a larger organisation. =

5. You’re in control

When you’re a small business owner, you get to be involved in all areas of the business, from concept and design, to sales and day-to-day business operations.

This is in stark contrast to larger organisations, where there’s hundreds of employees and a long complex chain of command.

This ability to be totally immersed in the business is a great driving force and with 69% of business owners motivated by the idea of being their own boss, small businesses get the freedom to create something of their own without being tied up in red tape.

Advantages of small business owners

At the end of the day, businesses large and small play a critical role in the global economy.

And while it is easy to be intimidated by big business, there are some great benefits to being petite that even the biggest corporations can’t compete with.

Contact our experts for advice on getting the marketing your (small or large) business deserves.