SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Naked is also a good example of another outsmarng strategy:
cut out the middle man
. By dealingdirectly with independent growers, Naked oers wine lovers indie labels at keen prices. It alsocreates a buzz and community around its business – customers are real stakeholders and rate winesand exchange views as if they were across the table from one another.4.
Create a new business model
winning toy manufacturer and markeng business Wow!Stu has a model that eecvely makes the best of all worlds: it is funded by invoice discounng,manufactures in China, crowdsources invenons via the web and uses UK talent to build retail andbranding environments to sell products globally. You’ll need a decent web infrastructure for thistype of set
up but cloud compung makes bricks
clicks hybrids possible.Be prepared to change tack if your rst (second, third) idea falls on stony ground. Says LondonBusiness School Entrepreneurship chair professor John Mullins:“Too oen small businesses fall in
love with a product or idea and forget they are in business to solve a problem.”5.
Capitalise on the crowd
. A limited budget need not hamper your ability to build ‘fans’ and winreferrals. At razor and shaving products business King of Shaves, Will King acvely uses Twier and
his blog to assert his underdog status, while promong products.
Beyond this, sites such as Groupon discount provider show how easy it is to grow fast and monesewebsites with ‘social commerce’ – group buying whereby a deal is oered if a certain number of people sign up to it. There are tools such as SyncFu that make s
commerce accessible to anybusiness.
Compete on service
. “Show your size is an advantage by turning around quotes fast or beingexible. Take advantage of the perceived arrogance of big businesses, and listen to customers – youmay get a sense of frustraon with a large competor,” says Dominic Monkhouse, managingdirector of the UK arm of hosng company PEER1.Read customer forums and online comments on
rivals’ service. Where can you do beer?
“Clients really appreciate the fact that the person proposing the outcomes is the person who’lldeliver it,” says David Pippe, founder of DWP Public Relaons. To keep payroll down, he maintainsan associate network, so he can scale up quickly without compromising quality.
Value and values combined
can also give small companies the edge – think Innocent Drinks, orElla’s Kitchen – and even in commodised sectors, the human touch can be a deciding factor.Eclipse internet acvely uses its service quality to compete in a crowded market. Knowing customerfrustraon with call
centres, it keeps its operaons local and follows up on help
desk enquiries. It’sduring those conversaons that it can nd out more about what its exisng customers want –creang condence in their judgement that gives them a lever to oer more choices.
“People respond to brand personality and knowledgeable service. They appreciate speaking directly