Small business owners can find it difficult to stand on their own two feet. Clear evidence of this is found in Silicon Valley where so many successful tech startups end up selling to multinational tech giants.
No one has stopped to wonder, “Why would a small business that’s beating it’s bigger rivals, sell themselves to those very same rivals?”
It’s simple: they didn’t have things they needed to stand up on their own two feet. Having a great idea is one thing, but a business infrastructure takes a lot of time to create. Luckily, this subject has been studied in greater detail in the past few years.
Here are some of the things you need to not get swallowed by the sharks.
How you work and live
Company culture is almost like a dark art. It infiltrates every corner, it permeates every department and everyone working for you. Small businesses risk losing their individuality if they decide to copy the company culture standards of another company.
Don’t try to be more like Google. Don’t try to copy the image of another CEO. Don’t try to be cool and hip, by creating games and entertainment areas in your headquarters, just because Apple has them.
It takes a lot of guts to create your own culture in your business and demand that employees stick to it. It’s not just how employees interact with each other, but how work is approached, completed and evaluated.
Specialist image projection
Why would you want to advertise your business as just another alternative?
Why would consumers choose you for their everyday shopping needs when they have a large multinational company covering that base?
If you’re a niche business, market yourself as a specialist product and or service provider. Choose a marketing company, specific to your profession. If you’re a lawyer, pick this kind of law firm marketing team. Their attorneys are experts in different areas of providing legal commentary to national media outlets, authoring books and penning widely-read blogs.
If your law firm is going through a very public case, use a specialist marketing team to project your image the way you want. If you’re an eCommerce business, work with a marketing company that knows about your industry.
Your own presentation style
When you go to business exhibitions and conventions, it’s your opportunity to share with the world your views. Don’t try to follow the lead of another company, don’t try to copy their gimmicks and entertainment razzle-dazzle they brought on stage. Just be you.
Present your ideas and your business, uniquely. Don’t try too hard to buck the trend. Explain your business to the crowds using tools and props, that you find relevant to your character.
Your own social voice
The best advice for a small business looking to develop their social media is to not hire a social media manager. Be yourself. Customers don’t want another human-robot, they want to read your posts in your tone.
Small business owners have to believe that they are leaders in waiting. You are not supposed to bow down to your larger rivals, you’re supposed to take them on and win. Don’t copy your company culture: make it yourself.