There’s no question that major corporations, like Amazon and Target, can be formidable opponents for small business owners. However, that doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t contend with these retail titans. With the right efforts, such as those below, you really can compete with big business and help your business flourish.
Make the Most of Your Time at Work
Competing with major retailers can take ambition, but it also takes time. So, if you are spending most of your time on menial tasks, like administration, data entry, or calendar maintenance, you should hire a freelance virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can help with all of the tasks above and work remotely, which means you won’t need to find additional office space to support this addition to your small business team. Once you have your virtual assistant hired, you can use productivity tools to keep the rest of your workday on track so you can focus more time and effort on the improvements needed to stay competitive.
Find Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs
The success of companies like Amazon is built on their ability to ship products fast, but that fast shipping isn’t always cheap. While Amazon can afford to absorb those shipping losses, which recently topped out at over $7 billion, most small businesses cannot. Thankfully, you don’t have to lose profits just to keep your shipping competitive with larger retailers. For example, if you want to provide free shipping on your products to compete with the free shipping offered by Amazon and other mass retailers, you can simply include any shipping costs in the price of products, rather than outright charging customers for shipping. You can also try offering free or reduced shipping to loyal customers to prevent any major profit losses.
Provide Quality Service to Your Customers
For many retailers, offering premium customer service is one of the keys to ensuring long-term success. Amazon, and other retailers like Trader Joe’s and Costco, have figured out that providing prompt replies and personal attention is much more likely to keep customers coming back for more, and you can apply those same customer service principles to your business. In fact, since most customers prefer to shop with small businesses, avoiding failures in this crucial area could be your best bet for increasing profits and ensuring your own business’s long-term success. That’s because this is the one area where smaller businesses truly can compete with corporations and even beat them. So, use customer service tools if needed but don’t let one small mistake in this area lead to bigger losses and issues for your business.
Learn Quickly from Your Small Business Failures
If there’s one thing that Amazon does better than pricing, shipping, and providing customer support, it’s learning from mistakes. Other successful corporations, like Coca-Cola, have mastered this essential business skill as well, and small business owners need to take notes if they want to have any hope of achieving long-term success. What these companies have come to realize is that failure can be the best way for companies, and individuals, to learn what works and what doesn’t. So don’t be afraid to take risks with your business and try something new, and if it doesn’t work out, find the lessons in that failure. Because learning to fail well and learn along the way is honestly the best way to ensure the long-term success of your small business.
To keep your small business competitive with major retailers and corporations, you don’t need to copy their efforts in great detail, but you should try to learn from their successes. Focus your efforts on improving all of the areas above or really zero in on one. Just be sure to keep what makes your business unique in mind along the way so you can put those differences to work and help drive the visibility and success of your small business.
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