Three Strategies to Help Startups Compete with Established Businesses


Big businesses in any industry enjoy a significant edge over potential up-and-coming competitors. From asset diversity and access to large-scale funding to increased brand recognition and recruiting power, many of these advantages can seem overwhelming to small enterprises.

With a limited budget, a startup might not be able to secure the most favorable deals from a manufacturer or purchase a lot of raw materials in bulk, for instance. Yet other avenues for improvement are still available and help even the playing field. Here are some that you might find useful:

Employ a large-scale strategy

Giving employees the opportunity for steady career growth isn’t something that only big businesses can offer. You can do it, too. Your company might not be able to attract top talent immediately. But you can invest in the team you already have. Covering the cost of skill-focused online courses will help employees expand their capabilities and do more for your organization.

Outsourcing is another strategy that isn’t necessarily limited to large-scale operations. For a startup, instead of outsourcing to cut costs, you can bring third-party professionals, such as industrial marketing consultants, onboard and gain the benefit of their expertise on specific campaigns.

Finally, big businesses are increasingly seeking to adopt corporate responsibility; many consumers now demand sustainability from industry, and established companies can encounter challenges overhauling their structure to become more eco-friendly. You can implement sustainable practices from the outset to quickly close the gap.

Make use of your adaptability

Small businesses might not have access to anywhere near the level of capital which larger companies can mobilize. But restrictions breed creativity, and being adaptable is one of your innate strengths; the more fluid structure of a startup could allow you to experiment with emerging disruptive technologies or dip into niche markets for potential success, while established brands prefer to stick with proven methods.

Many people nowadays take services and conveniences such as ride-sharing, social media, and online shopping for granted. Still, it wasn’t so long ago that Uber, Facebook, and Amazon, respectively, were taking risks by staking themselves on the disruptive innovations which would eventually become the foundation of their success.

In recent years, new technologies such as cloud computing and automation have allowed companies to collaborate with experts in various fields with remote working arrangements. Stay tuned to innovations that could reshape your industry and look for ways to turn them to your advantage.

Work on your story

Older companies can boast a long and proud history with strong ties to their consumer base. While startups won’t be able to draw upon this sort of loyalty instantly, you can still spin a compelling story to your advantage. When you’re selling something completely new or unfamiliar to consumers, storytelling is more effective when it’s concise and focused on your specific challenge and the solution your business provides.

A startup business might not be able to take advantage of economies of scale, or other strategies for optimization that require access to a lot of funds. But established companies also ensure their success in different ways. By emulating these strategies and best practices while taking advantage of your strengths as a small-scale outfit, you can be competitive and successful.

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