David and Goliath: how the small guys can pick a fight and win in business

There are certain sectors where the big companies enjoy a monopoly that is unlikely to ever come under threat. This may be due to a lack of competition or simply a specialised and structured way of doing things, with the construction sector standing out as an example where cases of company administration mean that only the major companies have survived in many cases.


However, there are also some areas where SMEs and new start-ups can make a real impact by playing to their strengths. So, how exactly can smaller companies steal a march on their larger contemporaries?


Embrace your size


A smaller company will almost certainly not have the kind of staffing salary commitments that their larger counterparts may have, for example. This means that you can choose to have a high turnover of temporary staff or freelancers which you use based on how busy you are over a given period, something larger companies cannot do. This also means you can place people on new projects at short notice depending on importance, something which is attractive to potential clients who may wish to change the direction of a project quite suddenly.


Leave room for flexibility


Things such as significant salary commitments also mean that larger companies may try everything they can to tie in clients to fixed-term contracts for 12 or 18 months. As a smaller company there is not as much pressure on you to put clients into such a position and a high turnover of clients at this stage may be something which you see as an occupational hazard. Use this flexible approach to your advantage!


Go in at a cheaper rate


It is also worth noting that the way in which you price up a particular job does not have to be the same as larger companies; again this is an area where you can use your diminutive stature to your advantage. If you offer contracts at a consistently lower price than larger companies but you keep winning them, you will make the money back as well developing a potentially useful reputation.


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