Why Most Small Businesses Fail In The Fight Against Corporate Giants (And What You Can Actually Do About It)

Quit Bringing Water Guns to War

Sure, you’re familiar with the phrase “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”, but most small business owners would be flat out lucky to have so much as a knife to fight with in the war against the corporate entities that threaten their very existence.

Think about it: the knife to a gun fight analogy worked when it was twobad hombres in the old west dueling it out in the street. Presumably, they were both on relatively equal footing to begin with, so deciding to pull a knife when your enemy is using a gun would make for a fairly quick surrender, or worse.

The key here, is that both “bad hombres” stood on relatively equal ground at the start of the duel. In the case of Small Business David versus Corporate Goliath, most small businesses are bringing a water gun to an all out war for market share that large corporate entities are in the business of pursuing day in and day out.

Corporate Goliath has a veritable war-chest of options: full-fledged, dedicated departments for marketing, sales, HR, R&D, etc. and a board of dedicated C-Suite Generals commanding and driving their forces with ultimate goal: the bottom line as it relates to shareholders, owners, or other governing interests.

And most small businesses respond to these corporate “wars” for marketshare with the equivalent of a water-gun: a half-hearted attempt that ultimately leads to abysmal failure and fear of what might happen in the future on the battlefield of business.

Pick Your Battles Wisely

You can’t fight on every “battlefront” and win. There are battles you shouldn’t even consider (lowest prices, etc), battles you might win in the best of circumstances (TV & radio promotions, etc), and battles you can win in surprisingly dominant fashion (email marketing, etc).

So where do you want to fight? Because the only places that make sense to invest your hard earned time, energy, resources, and willpower into fighting are the battles where you can score victories for your business. Score enough of those victories and they eventually add up to a profitable, sustainable, and successful enterprise.

A few battles small businesses can win, and win big:

  • Customer Service
  • Quality of Your Product/Service Delivery
  • Warranties/Guarantees
  • Convenience
  • Branding Personality & Culture
  • E-mail Marketing
  • Digital Advertising
  • Direct Mail
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Trade Shows
  • Direct Sales
  • & lots of others depending on your unique business niche!

You can’t win them all, but if you choose wisely, and especially if you can put together the right combination, you can win more often than not and do so in a surprisingly predictable, and profitable manner.

Fight Like Hell

But, and this is a sincere word of caution, when you choose to go to battle, you actually have to GO TO BATTLE. That means committing to fighting 100%. The absolute worst thing you can do is to show up to a battle and refuse to get involved. Bring your full attention, bring your full resources, and throw everything you have into winning the battles that you choose to fight.

…If you commit to better customer service, be unrelenting in your serving of customers.

…If you commit to winning SEO, be unrelenting in your pursuit of search engine domination.

…if you commit to advertising online, be unrelenting in your digital advertising.

You get the point.

You can only win the battles you 100% commit to fighting, so give it all you’ve got.

Double Down On Your Strengths

There will always be areas you can improve, and you should certainly do your best to shore up your weaknesses. Consider, however, what it would do for your business to leverage your strengths and multiply your results rather than simply shoring up a few weaknesses. Big wins and massive gains can be had by concentrating on doing what you do “well” even better and at a higher volume.

Own Your Niche

There is something your audience wants that only you can provide, and when you find the people who want that one thing, your business will explode. You might even call this “your winning formula”. This formula works when you align your marketing efforts with your most responsive audience and your ability to fully leverage the products and services you provide. Your winning formula will have you winning battles time and time again over the corporate giants who are too clunky to adapt and too bland to truly connect with your audience.

So Now What?

So you’re ready to abandon your water guns and you’ve decided to commit to finding the right weapons to fight winnable battles for your business, and that’s awesome. The question now becomes, which battles do you fight? What makes the most sense for the resources at your disposal and the organization you’re growing? How do you leverage the value of your unique offerings?  What is the exact right niche to dominate? If you need help with any of these, schedule a consultation to get help by clicking below.

Upgrade Your Water Guns To Real Ones