Growth January 3, 2010 Last updated February 6th, 2010 2,005 Reads share

Small Business – David vs. Goliath!

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Small business is very much the “David” against the “Goliath” of the market place. Small business says dynamic, prepared to go for it, entreprenerial, willing to challenge the status quo! Small business rocks (my humble view!) and is the foundation of most economies in the developed and developing world.

Those who have dared to establish their own businesses can feel very like the small boy in this photo! His stance says that he’s confident and able, but the task before him is gargantuan. When we look at the picture – we ask “what on earth does he have to do to win?”.

This challenge is not easy and should not be considered as such. Most business concepts have already been thought of or implemented to greater/lesser extents. So the small or new business venture is in a highly challenging market – Goliath!

Who is this Goliath guy?

  1. He’s the bank manager who won’t lend you the capital you need.
  2. He’s the venture capitalist (the guys we love to hate but need alot of the time because of 1 above) who wants 40% of your business. I should say that without these most excellent individuals/groups, most of us would never have gotten a business off the ground – but really … 40 %?
  3. He’s the government grants that none of us can get hold of.
  4. He’s the corporate giant who is in the same/similar field and who, if they bothered to look, could squash your business like a bug.
  5. He’s the people you know who say “this is never going to work”.
  6. He’s the cash-flow problems.
  7. He’s the non-paying customer.
  8. He’s the supplier who delivers late.
  9. He’s the competition.
  10. He’s …….The list is endless. Goliath pounds on the business owner/entrepreneur every day.

So how does the small business/entrepeneur beat it?

The same way as our friend does in the photo – by being faster, knowing some killer moves and being more agile. Many larger businesses are so caught up in running themselves that they forget to look at their customers and their customers needs. Their bureaucracy is an inhibitor – use that to your advantage. They can be beaten!

Many bigger businesses talk about being more customer responsive and dynamic but most simply cannot do this due to internal political constraint and over-engineered processes.

The other items in the list?

Outside of the financing options, everything else is in your power to control or manage more efficiently. With the financing options? – well those VC guys would love to talk to you!The biggest selling point in any smaller business is the team that makes it work. They are a part of your brand. They are the people that your customers have faith in.

Most importantly, keep your sense of “self” – you are your business’ greatest asset.

Have you anything else to add to the Goliath list?

Barney Austen

Barney Austen

Budding entrepeneur working on software product solutions for business. My background is mainly operational and senior management roles in mobile telecoms and software houses. Areas of expertise include professional services, out-sourcing, team management and general operations management. I've made the conscious decision to create my own company having spent the last 20 years learning in the corporate world. In my contributions to this forum, I will share some insights and learnings that I've picked up along the way and hopefully they will be useful to some or all!

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