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In short, yes; a small homegrown business can match big corporations. This would be a relatively uninspiring article if the answer was “no”. Of course, many small businesses fail, and that’s always in the mind of new entrepreneurs. It’s hard to get started in any industry without people mentioning how many startups fail to really take off. But the problem isn’t that these businesses are outmatched – the problem is that many entrepreneurs fail to plan ahead and put a steady plan of expansion in place. If you want your small homegrown business to rise to the top of its industry then the following suggestions should set you on the right path.

Connect with people as human beings.

The most successful businesses, large or small, know that connecting with the target audience on a personal level is the best way to skyrocket to the top of an industry. In some ways, small businesses can have an advantage in this regard. It’s very easy for big corporations to become disconnected from their customer base or the market at large because their scope is too expansive. In other words, they might stretch themselves too thinly and fail to offer dedicated customer service or even understand their audience correctly. In contrast, your small business with its narrow focus and smaller client base might be better geared for success in this regard.

As for how you should connect with your potential and current customers, you need to do your research. Run surveys and polls to get feedback from existing customers. What are you doing well or not so well? What are your competitors doing better? What are your competitors doing badly? The goal is to find gaps in the market so that you can deliver a brand message and solutions that really resonate with your target market. Show consumers that you understand them. That’s how you’ll turn heads and start to match the big corporations in your respective marketplace. Maybe you’ll see that consumers want to take better care of the planet, for example. That could lead you to offer more sustainable products and run your business in a more environmentally friendly way than your larger competitors. Small moves such as this can make big waves in any industry. Connect with people as human beings by showing the human side to your company. It could make all the difference.

Cultivate a professional image for your business.

Many homegrown businesses, whether run by solo entrepreneurs or small teams, struggle to match big corporations because they lack the same polished and professional image. Potential customers might be hesitant to opt for your company not because it’s newer or operating on a smaller scale but because it appears less reliable and trustworthy. You need to present your business in the right light to change the market’s mind if that’s the case. Perhaps you could check out some providers of virtual offices so that you could start outsourcing certain business services such as customer calls. This will give customers the impression that your company is run just as professionally as any big corporation in the heart of a city. There’s nothing wrong with running a business on your own, but it might come across as a little amateurish to customers if the boss is also answering the call to resolve customer complaints. Obviously, as explained in the last point, retaining a human connection with clients is important, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your business’ overall image. Get the balance just right. You need to be friendly and professional.

Develop a smart digital marketing strategy

In the modern age, online advertising is essential for any company that wants to make an impact on the market. It’s an incredible platform for smaller businesses because you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to market your company successfully anymore. Plenty of businesses make a name for themselves simply by creating great content or raising brand awareness via word-of-mouth. In terms of the former, you should create an exceptional website that ranks well on search engines. Get help from professionals in web development if that isn’t your speciality. Your content needs to be responsive with plenty of keywords so that sites such as Google decide that you’re one of the most relevant results for potential customers in your specific industry. When it comes to word-of-mouth marketing, social media is your friend. Link your pages on different social networks to your website. Your online presence needs to be consistent and interconnected. Every piece of content counts. If you want to get people talking about you then you could encourage them by running competitions. You could enter customers in a prize draw if they share a certain post of yours, for example. That’ll get people spreading the word.

This is a collaborative post.