How to Slay Industry Giants - 4 Top Tips

How to Slay Industry Giants - 4 Top Tips

Here are our top tips for taking on the giants in your industry and winning. Even if you work for a small company you can still win against a giant in your industry. Remember, David did beat Goliath.

Here are some classic examples of entrepreneurs who did just that and won:

  • Richard Branson took on both British Airways and American Airlines and beat them both with Virgin Atlantic
  • Fred Smith of Fedex competed against DHL, TNT and regional delivery companies by offering a guaranteed overnight delivery service

Larger businesses likely have many advantages over you: they’re better funded, have more solid cash flows and they may invest more in product development.

The most important thing to avoid is trying to become the giant. If you make that mistake, you’re likely to lose because a larger company will always be able to out-spend you. That would be playing to their strengths, not yours. You must compete on your strengths instead.

Tip 1: Leverage the giant’s weaknesses

  • All large companies have an Achilles’ heel which you can exploit. This is the fact that the bigger a company gets the more bureaucracy and processes they have.
  • Small companies can make changes faster than big companies, especially to respond to client requests and complaints. You must use this to your advantage.
  • Most customers would accept that BIG = SLOW, SMALLER = FASTER

Tip 2: Look for ways you can compete on a different playing field

  • Can you offer a different product range or a better follow-up service?
  • You need to analyse your competitors and look for ways you can offer something that is different to what they are offering the market – as a smaller company your senior managers are more likely to have direct customer contact to facilitate this.

Tip 3: Survival of the fastest

  • In the 21st Century the future belongs to companies that can react faster than their competitors. A small company can change and improve much faster. You are able to change direction very quickly in response to any market changes.
  • When customers have a bad experience with a large company, aim to be the company they turn to for help. Ask to be the back for a client if their large supplier lets them down.

Tip 4: Be the opposite

  • Big companies find it hard to: be ‘big’ and personalised, to be global and localised
  • So if you have a local client, feel free to mention that “If you’d like to work with a large corporate supplier who works worldwide, you can use ABC Corp, but if you’d like to be supported by a local team who deeply understand the local market conditions and can be more adaptable, then look to us…”

In summary

It is possible for a small company to take on an industry giant and win. Use these tips to help you win your battles with the ‘big boys’. Be different: be you – don’t try to be the competition.

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