3 Tips for Thriving Among Industry Giants

3 Tips for Thriving Among Industry Giants

Fortunately, startups don’t have to let big players such as PepsiCo steal their advantages without a fight. The biggest companies have the deepest pockets and the most service lines, so small companies must focus on niches, becoming industry specialists and offering nimble customer service. Through superior customer service and personal relationships, startups can provide something that no big company can match. The trick for small companies is to act like a small business while demonstrating the power of a larger one. Always respond to prospects quickly and personally. If a real person had emailed me back with answers to my specific questions, that company likely would have earned my business. That’s why PepsiCo wants to stay on trend: to compete with smaller, more agile brands. Toyota needed specific help that no one offered. While startups use personal service to get in front of clients, big companies invest in technology so they don’t have to. I asked him, “Is the person you talked to at Salesforce today going to be the same person who will work with you after the sale?” Those are the questions small companies must ask to compete with big businesses.

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3 Tips for Thriving Among Industry Giants

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Startups have never had it easy. Big businesses hate disruption, and when a new company starts doing things differently, established players do everything they can to steal the ideas and squash the competition.

PepsiCo, for example, has mechanized the process. Through its partnership with Black Swan Data, PepsiCo hopes to identify trends before they become, well, trendy and beat would-be disruptors to the punch in an effort to compete with its smaller competitors. This is because, as PepsiCo leaders suggest, smaller businesses are better able to keep up with trends.

Fortunately, startups don’t have to let big players such as PepsiCo steal their advantages without a fight. The biggest companies have the deepest pockets and the most service lines, so small companies must focus on niches, becoming industry specialists and offering nimble customer service.

Old-fashioned relationship building is the key. Most big players rely on dial-up customer service, but they don’t make in-person visits to facilities and events. Startups excel in the trenches where big companies don’t bother to go. Through superior customer service and personal relationships, startups can provide something that no big company can match.

The trick for small companies is to act like a small business while demonstrating the power of a larger one. By using the right combination of tactics, startups can not only survive in this cutthroat environment, but also thrive.

Related: 5 Ways Startups Can Help Time-Tested, Traditional Industries Evolve

1. Always respond to prospects quickly and personally.

Smaller companies differentiate themselves from big ones through faster, more in-depth human communication. One company recently sent me a form email about buying a list from a database. I sent back my interest, but only received a second form email in response — one that didn’t even answer my questions. If a real person had emailed me back with answers to my specific questions, that company likely would have earned my business.

Whether in person or on the phone, respond quickly and personally to maximize the small business charm. Companies of all sizes have adopted automated software for marketing, but relying on…

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