Starting a business is no easy task, but keeping it flowing poses bigger challenges. Depending on the size, specialty and location of your business, you may choose different growth techniques and methods of its development.
Small businesses have proven to be a healthy alternative to fast-growing large enterprises. Since 1995, small businesses have generated over 65% of the new jobs in the market.
The following several small business strategy examples will answer some of your questions about how to guide your business development and give you practical hints.
1. Does Size Matter? As a manager of a small business you may have an urge to question your company’s competitiveness as you compare your size to bigger businesses. This is a justifiable concern, but don’t worry too much about comparing apples to oranges.
Sharon Hadary, the founding and former executive director of the Centre for Women’s Business Approach, recommends taking this chance to think about your business’s competitive edge, and emphasizing it in a way that would pose a problem even for larger businesses. There are services and product qualities that you, as a small business, can deliver faster, possibly more efficiently and with innovative touch. Maybe cooperating with bigger companies on a project, as Sharon mentions, can benefit you and them in a new way?
Susan Solovic, a Small Business Expert, clearly points out that technology is a ruling force of a small business’s competitiveness. Embedding innovative technological approaches into your business strategy is placing you ahead of larger brands for whom drastic change and novelty is a burden.
2. A famous cost leadership strategy is truly a lottery ticket when employed properly. It takes a lot of convincing your customers that your product is incredible and that they don’t have to pay you that much, but once it’s done, you’ll see the result.
A great example, IKEA is a professional at cost leadership, being number one choice for many home decorations. Although, many are emphasizing the Swedish company’s lack of authenticity, it is important to acknowledge that IKEA offered affordable, quality-stable and versatile pieces of furniture. They don’t do special offers, nor do they your purchase to you. Nevertheless, they don’t ask for a ton of money or make you wait for ages. This is exactly what IKEA is all about, and they’re playing their competitive edge card very well.
IKEA is constantly diversifying their products as their goals extend beyond mere functionality. Why sell complex pieces that customers won’t be able to assemble themselves?
3. Focusing on a niche market is another alternative strategy for a small business. This one is especially fitting for enterprises with outreach, funding and resource limitations, as targeting becomes a matter of necessity. Producing for a group of your customers is a good way to fight competition, too, as you are more likely to become a professional with a specific aim in mind, rather than wanting “to get it all”.
Simply speaking, it is easier for a bakery to build a reputation for being the breadbasket of a particular city than fighting with all those chains of grocery stores to be called the best city market. Divide and fight is the slogan of the focus strategy.
It takes time to get skillful at combining all of these strategies in a smart way to make your business exceptional. In addition, there aren’t universal rules for every initiative, so finding what fits your system and your approach is the first goal you should set for yourself.