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Four ways to use being a small business to your advantage

Small businesses are usually seen as fragile and more likely to be unsuccessful, especially when compared to established enterprises. When you add in unpredictable economic climates and rapidly changing consumer trends, it may seem almost impossible for small businesses to survive.

However, despite having a small customer base, a small team of employees and small marketing budgets, a small business has many advantages over larger corporations. Here are a few ways to use the small size of your business to your advantage:

Provide highly personalised service
It is much easier for a small business to provide very specific, personalised and swift service to each customer. This is one major way of differentiating your brand and attracting loyal consumers. There is no ‘mass-produced’ service as such, meaning each customer will get exactly what he or she wants. Such customised service is no doubt what most modern-day consumers seek, and one can easily build an excellent client base by focusing on such.

Quickly change strategies to suit sudden changes in trends
Large corporations usually have a long bureaucratic process to have changes implemented. A small business, on the other hand, can plan and implement changes in a few hours, if they so wish. Such quick turnaround time can be crucial for ‘striking while the iron is still hot’, capturing opportunities, responding to imminent threats and so forth.

Leverage a leaner structure
This allows for your whole team to work closely together, and know what each member is engaging in, etc. Such cohesiveness makes it easier to communicate and implement strategies quickly and a lot more effectively. Customers will also be able to get their goods or services much faster; in other words productivity or output levels will be enhanced.

Create employment for the local communities
Small businesses have been known to help the people around them, through creating employment and fostering a higher quality of life for local individuals and dependant households. Larger businesses may look further afield to employ ‘the best’, but a small business will look closer to home to utilise existing skills or recruit and develop employees through training programmes. This also creates positive sentiment surrounding the brand, and can also feature as part of a CSR plan. This ultimately means existing clients are likely to want to continue doing business with you, and that new clients will also be attracted to such a brand.

Contrary to the belief of many, small businesses do in fact possess several noteworthy advantages over their larger competitors. Their flexibility in governance, operations and strategies afford them an uncanny ability to react as and when needed to shifting economic, social and political changes. The personalised touch for consumers that smaller businesses present, the tightness of their core teams, and their keenness on community-based recruitment, all allow for various synergies and strategic benefits that actually enable smaller entities to maintain unique competitiveness in the face of massive competition.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).