2) Small firms are more responsive and can change things in their business operation and processes much quicker than larger businesses. This is mainly down to size, scale and speed of decision making. So in this respect small firms usually find it easier to innovate or introduce something new at very short notice.
3) Small businesses can be more fanatical and radical about their business and products. No matter how many times they can’t quite get it right, small business owners, in general, are more obsessive and never give up in their attempts to improve their existing services, or make new developments or projects a success. Bigger firms on the other hand are usually more hamstrung by corporate policy and guidelines which hamper their ability to do anything too radical or too quickly.
4) Small businesses can keep their costs lower. They usually don’t have any choice, and their survival depends on it. They haven’t got the overheads of their larger counterparts, and as a result the cost of innovating or developing something new doesn’t have to be a competitive barrier.
5) Smaller firms are more adaptable. They can turn orders around fast, they can try several ideas at once, and they can have more informal business plans which allow them to react and adapt to market or customer needs almost at will.
In essence, it’s sometimes easier for the smaller firm to concentrate on quality and service, maintain their individuality, and gain an advantage by simply trying to be more responsive than everyone else. And, more importantly, their customers will notice and appreciate it.
It’s worth remembering the old business maxim that both consumers and trade customers prefer to buy the product or service that most closely meets their needs, not just the cheapest on offer. So even though small firms may not be able to beat their larger competitors on price, they can certainly try to beat them on quality, reliability, flexibility and individual flair.
Here are a few non-price factors that typically affect the decision making process of purchasers.
- Product or service superiority – prospective buyers will compare quality standards and performance levels between similar offerings.
- Specification – buyers will judge how close it is to meeting their exact needs.
- Convenience – of ordering, delivery, payment terms and so on will be noticed and appreciated.
- Customer service – before, during and after the sale is often the Achilles’ heel of larger firms.