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The Coming Age of Small Business – Part 1

small-businessIt’s one of the most famous opening lines of any novel. Charles Dickens, in A Tale of Two Cities, wrote, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

Could the same be true for small business owners today?

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Many small businesses are struggling. According to Discover’s Small Business Watch, half of the small business owners surveyed reported cash flow problems over the last three months. The good news is the number is down slightly, but it’s still significant.

It’s been tough to get credit. Vendors are more demanding than ever while, at the same time, customers are paying slowly – especially if you do business with certain state governments.

But it’s also a great time to be a small business owner.

In a post awhile back on the Harvard Business blog, Peter Bergman said small companies will win. He talked about a small business that had won large accounts – and got prepaid – even though they were competing against much bigger, more established companies. He says clients aren’t looking for …

big names …
flashy offices …
lots of time in the industry …
highly-capitalized vendors. 

So what do they want?

Bergman says: “Small is the new big. Sustainable is the new growth. Trust is the new competitive advantage.”

He reports that even senior level managers at many large companies have lost faith in their companies. As go the employees, so goes the company.

People want to do business with people they trust.
Not companies.
Not organizations.
Not institutions.

People.
People want to do business with people.
People want to trust again.
People want to do business with people they trust.

Increasingly, that’s small businesses. Trust is one of the reasons small companies have an inherent competitive advantage right now.

So to capitalize on this trend, super-serve your customers in your chosen niche. Build relationships by building trust and you’ll create a competitive advantage.

It’s hard for large companies to create a culture of trust. It’s much easier for small business owners.

If you think about it, we’re back where we started. In days gone by, we did business with people we knew.

It wasn’t about the promises of a faceless brand; it was about the promises of a person. Deliver on your promises and you’ll be a bigg success!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. We trust you enjoyed it!

Please join us next time when we’ll look at this topic again by exploring two other ways small businesses can gain a competitive advantage. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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In Tragedy, There can be Triumph!

By Bigg Success Staff
07-10-08

Life Skills

Image of Viktor Frankl

Charles Dickens opened up A Tale of Two Cities with his famous line, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times …”

We’re fortunate. Our times aren’t anything like the times Dickens described. However, it does highlight that it is possible to look at a given moment in time through two different lenses.

We keep hearing how bad things are right now. For some, they are. We can’t fully control what happens to us; we are completely in charge of how we respond.

We can choose to only see the bad or we can strive to find the good. For it’s often in the worst times that we learn the most. For that, we can be grateful.

Victor Frankl, author of the wonderful book Man’s Search for Meaning, endured the concentration camps of World War II. He came to realize that the guards could take away almost everything from him, but they could never take away his thoughts. That led to his discovery of a whole new field of social psychology.

By focusing his thoughts on things that were positive, he could escape the horrors he saw around him. By remembering things that inspired him in the past, he could be lifted up in spite of his miserable conditions.

It didn’t make his conditions any better. It did give him the spirit to press on rather than give up. And because of it, he made a discovery that has changed the lives of countless people. 

In tragedy, there can be triumph!

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(Image from viktorfrankl.org)