Stop Thinking Like a Big Brand and Go Small
I can’t help but to notice a pattern among small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs as it would seem that the buzz word among them is “global”. Now, don’t get me wrong as I’m not against being visionary and ambitious but overindulgence in this “global” concept can very well be a mindset that comes into your way in growing your business.
Take any sport as an example – you do not challenge the course with the highest difficulty when you start out simple because it will probably leave you injured or killed (depending on the type of sport). However, it is good to look forward in challenging that course in the future – when you’re fit for it.
So, why should you not think like a big brand? Here are 4 reasons:
I’ll skip the part explaining the difference in marketing budget between a big brand and a small business but know this – branding and marketing is not dependent on how huge your budget is. Money simply has the potential to speed up the growing (or declining) process of your brand.
Thankfully, the web is favorable to small businesses especially with the introduction of social media. If your target audience is on Facebook, focus on building a relationship with them and grow your network organically. This will create long term traction for your business with significant savings on cost. Don’t be fooled by the misconceptions of social media.
With limited manpower on your team, you may not be able to go on a labor intensive campaign such as roadshows or huge events. Forcibly doing so may spread your workforce so thin that it may hurt your business in return. Instead, use this limitation to your advantage by being able to provide a closer communication with your customers.
One of the beauty of a small business is communication. Big brands often let the account managers, sales or marketing team do the job while in small businesses, you as a business owner work on it hands-on and that makes a difference. Focus on providing personalized services and that will keep you ahead of your competitors. Even big brands are moving into personalized services.
#3: Systems and Procedures
Big brands in general have various systems and procedures to keep them in check whether it is for sales, requesting for support or even to get a marketing campaign approved. Sometimes, it takes weeks to get a request approved due to the many departments involved. While the control is there, it is not what your small business should be doing.
Small businesses usually have the luxury of being quick and fluid in decision making thus allowing a shorter turnaround time. Use this to your advantage and keep the ideas going and experiment on them.
#4: Networks and Reputation
Most big brands are already well connected and engaged both online and offline. Having that said, it is likely that their marketing campaigns will automatically gain a whole lot more participation or visibility than what you can achieve with your small business.
Turning that around, you can establish your reputation in local communities and this is something big brands are unlikely to follow. Be targeted in your marketing campaigns and reach out to your target audience individually and grow together with them – this will lower your overheads but gives you a laser-point focus.
Go Small but be Scale-able
Likewise in start-ups or small businesses, instead of thinking about going global and becoming a big brand, think of how can you start SCALING your business towards becoming global. Remember, even big brands started small.