Competing with Giants? 5 Little Known Advantages Small Businesses Have Over Larger Competitors

by Terry H Hill
Terry H Hill
Terry H. Hill is the Chief Business Mentor at Training for H
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on Nov 15 in Business Insights 2 Comments

Big versus little.jpgDo you feel like David fighting Goliath?  Well, don’t let that discourage you.  Being small doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at a disadvantage.  There are distinct advantages to being a small business competing against much larger players.

In the story of David and Goliath; David, armed with only a slingshot, killed his giant opponent Goliath in one swift move.  Larger companies are like Goliath.  They appear invincible.  However, they have this one major weakness; they are hampered by their size.  They are not as nimble or as swift-footed as their smaller counterparts.

Large companies are also less able to adapt to change.  In contrast, it’s a lot easier for a small business to do new things and be more innovative since, unlike big corporations, they are not weighed down by processes or unnecessary protocols.

The speed and efficiency at which small businesses are able to get new products to market often baffle their larger-sized competitors. 

Let's take a closer look at why small businesses can out-maneuver their larger-sized competitors:

#1: Small businesses are quick to adapt!

Small businesses are inherently nimble, quick to adapt and to change tactics.  For example, a small business has only a few people involved in the creation of a product. And, so you are able to introduce a new product to market more quickly.

So, while your larger competitors are yet seeking approvals and looking into their various options, you have all your new products ready-to-go to market.

#2: Small businesses provide a sense of belonging!

Another advantage that small businesses have over larger ones is the feeling of being a part of a family.  Treating employees more like family members boosts morale in the workplace. This helps your company during the good times as well as the tough times.  It allows you to lead your small business to a greater level of success.

#3: Small businesses offer personalized service naturally!

A small business is by nature an intimate setup that allows for closer, more personalized-relationships with its customers.  In a small company, most owners are directly involved with their customers.  Therefore, customer related issues are typically handled much faster and with a greater sense of purpose. 

On the other hand, large companies operate through multiple departments and use countless procedures making them extremely sluggish when it comes to building relationships with their customers.

As a small business owner, you must fully leverage your customer relationships.  It's truly your competitive advantage over your larger-sized competition.

#4: Small businesses are structured lean!

Small businesses typically conduct their business with minimum investment, and are therefore very lean by nature.  With fewer employees and less processes to contend with, small businesses are able to keep operations running more efficiently; which enables them to more quickly adapt to changing market conditions with more flexibility than their larger counterparts.

Continue to think lean… it adds to your ability act and react more swiftly!

#5: Small businesses have a limited advertising budget!

Small businesses have very little resources to spare for advertising.  You might consider this to be a disadvantage, but it’s not necessarily so.  In fact, you can turn this perceived disadvantage into a true advantage by delivering your sales and marketing message directly to your existing customers. 

Your sales and marketing message must be rooted in a win/win philosophy.  One in which you help your customers grow their businesses while they in turn help you grow your business.  It's called power-networking… the age old process of word-of-mouth marketing!

I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and ideas about how small businesses can more effectively compete with their larger-sized competitors.

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About the author

Terry H Hill

Terry H. Hill is the Chief Business Mentor at Training for His business knowledge combined with his 30 plus years of small business experience help individuals to effectively develop and efficiently implement strategies to overcome their particular business issues and challenges… To explore the various one-to-one mentoring plan options, visit


sharon Friday, 16 November 2012 · Edit Reply

I loved your article- we always need to be reminded why we face all the ups & downs of owning your own business- thank you !

Abdul latif A. Muse Wednesday, 21 November 2012 · Edit Reply

The article is simple and adresses the cutting edge advantages that small businesses have against their competing large establishments. We must not ignore the hassles towards capitalization and other resource constraints that small businesses take on as regular challenges, though.

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