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10 Enterprising Ways to Win

Enterprising People

From www.enterprisequest.com

In business big isn't always beautiful, or even desirable, for that matter. And high growth isn't what the vast majority of small businesses will ever achieve. Nor is it necessarily what they want to achieve. But that doesn't mean you can't succeed as a small business, make genuine leaps and bounds in your market. Being small actually gives you several advantages over your bigger and so-called stronger competitors, and also over every other small business you compete against. Because being small doesn't stop you from being and acting smart.

It doesn't stop you from finding those regular victories and impact-making little breakthroughs that can propel your small, ordinary enterprise into a profit-making - or even market-leading - firm in your chosen niche. In the real business world this is what it's all about - growing a little in the wider scheme of things, but making a big difference to your bottom line, personal satisfaction levels, self-esteem and longer-term survival prospects. Here are ten ways you can act smarter to beat everybody else compete against:

  1. Be faster - this is all about being able to find a way to be quicker off the mark than anyone else. For example, faster delivery, quicker  production lead times, earlier product launches. You could also be open for business earlier, respond to enquiries quicker etc. There are plenty of ways you can be faster than everyone else.
  2. Be easier to do business with - you're small so take advantage of that fact. Your customers can speak to the right people (especially you) in your firm without hassle. You can also make it as smooth and as painless as possible for your customers to order, pay, get their money back, get advice and feel good about dealing with you.
  3. Be flexible - this is where the big players often struggle and the small firm can win hands down. You have fewer decision-making levels, no politics to avoid, and can just make the difference your customers are looking for.
  4. Be seen as an expert - you should carve out your niche and exploit it. Work out what you're better at doing than anyone else, and then let everyone know about it as often as possible and in as many ways as you can.
  5. Be open-minded - don't just look inside your own sector for new ways to do things or promote yourself. Try and find new ways of doing things from outside your industry by looking at what's working and what's successful in unrelated sectors, and then try and apply these in your own.
  6. Find opportunities that others don't - spend as much time as possible looking for new business opportunities, get out and join face-to-face networks, do joint marketing deals, find piggy-back partners, and sniff out other little places for doing business that bigger companies would never have the time to find.
  7. Be first - innovate in little ways all the time and get a reputation for always trying things first in your sector, even if they don't always work - because often enough they will and you'll get noticed for it and admired for it as well.
  8. Be caring - make it clear that you care about every aspect of your business - i.e. your quality standards, your customers, your suppliers, your business neighbours, your staff, your local community - and again, you'll soon get noticed and appreciated for this.
  9. Be slightly different - in all aspects of your business, not just your products and prices. Find little ways to make your marketing, IT, after-sales service, terms and conditions, shop front or website unique and attractive to your target audience. Even a slight difference can make a noticeable impact.
  10. Be a fanatic - this could be your biggest opportunity. Get yourself known for your beliefs, knowledge, enthusiasm and madness (or slight insanity) about your business and sector, and make sure you strut your stuff as often as possible, so that everyone knows about what you and your business stand for.

If possible, try out and act upon as many of these things as possible in your business, go out of your way to apply them every day, and make sure they form the backbone of your unique business proposition and marketing strategy. None of these ideas have to be done in a big way. If you can find ways to be slightly better than your rivals in at least some of these ten ways then that could give your small firm a big advantage.

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