Startups may seem at a natural disadvantage, but they actually hold key strengths over big businesses.
When you first start a business, it's easy to be intimidated by the hundreds of big companies that stand as your competition. However, operating a startup has some key advantages that those big businesses simply aren't able to touch. Knowing these advantages, and playing to them, will help your startup remain strong even in the face of decades-experienced, national-level competitors:
1. Novelty. Startups have more novelty than big businesses, and people crave novelty in their purchases and daily lives. It makes you more surprising, more interesting, and oftentimes, more valuable, by sheer virtue of the fact that you're a relative unknown.
2. Agility. Big businesses are often forced to make decisions via bureaucracy or with teams of people, making them slower and less able to adapt. To make matters worse, they have to keep their existing customers happy or risk ruin. Startups are much faster and nimbler, giving them more opportunities to change and grow.
3. Loyalty. When people buy from a startup, they're more likely to stay loyal. This is especially true in a local environment, where supporting small businesses is greatly encouraged.
4. Personality. Startups tend to have more personality. This is in part due to the fact that only a small number of people are running them, and in part because they haven't had much time to develop. Either way, it makes startups more appealing for many.
5. Teamwork. Finally, startups work with smaller, tighter-knit teams. This makes it easier to make group decisions, and usually leads to a more immersive, enjoyable, satisfying work environment.
Play up these advantages as much as you can, knowing your key strengths as you develop your enterprise. Optimizing your marketing, sales, and operations strategies with these strengths in mind, you'll be able to hold your ground even in the biggest battlegrounds.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.