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The nightmare for small service businesses - and the solution

Here you have two common nightmare scenarios that are common to all small businesses that sell time and knowledge.

Nightmare 1:
You run a small business selling services. You are qualified, experienced and dedicated. Still, you can't get access to those meetings you want with bigger companies.

Nightmare 2:
Your quote was superb and competitive. You could offer exactly what the customer needed, plus lots of other values ​​in the quotation. Still, the job went to a reputable company with a standard solution - at twice the price.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these (or both) scenarios?

If you do, you have faced the power of a well known brand. Your dream customer didn't opt for the smartest solution - a rational choice based on factors such as skills, ability or value. Instead they go for the coward's decision.

Welcome to the so-called reality. So what can you do about this? Well a lot, actually. First you need to understand how decisions are made at larger companies. Many of these decisions are made out of fear. People are afraid to look stupid. What they most want is prestige and what they want the least is uncertainty (Well, that kind of goes for you and me, too). That is also why they would rather talk to your larger and more well known competitor - simply because it's safer.

4 things you can do to get the break you need – and deserve:

1. Start today by working out a narrow niche for yourself. The big companies do everything and therefore it's your job to become an expert in just one field, to find a niche that will become your own. Produce written materials about the field and publish it on your website, in your brochures and maybe even in a book. It creates the credibility you are looking – and longing - for. If you do this, I promise you results.

2. Chase publicity. Instead of forcing yourself on to the big customers, make them come looking for you instead. Articles in newspapers, discussion board posts and comments on what others have written about your business will work to your benefit in the long term.

3. Stop focusing on yourself and align yourself more with your customer. Give away free stuff, publish a newsletter in your field. Be generous with your knowledge and ensure that it's disseminated. Soon the niche you’ve chosen will be yours.

4. Choose your niche carefully so that your knowledge and expertise becomes something that other people will want to buy. Become your country's foremost expert in the field by teaching people everything there is to know about your particular niche.

By following these points,  you'll have the best possible chance at beating your larger and more well-known competitors – so do it now!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.