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3 Ways David (Small Business Owners) Can Outmaneuver Goliath (Big Brands)

3 Ways David (Small Business Owners) Can Outmaneuver Goliath (Big Brands)So, you are a hustling small business owner. Growing your business, marketing, perhaps dealing with employees and all of that jazz.

Things are humming along, but then you notice you are in a David vs. Goliath situation. Bigger brands might be undercutting you. Or stealing your web traffic. Or writing angry notes on your car window (well…maybe not that).

The bigger company is outspending you and has 500 more employees than you do.

How do you become David and outmaneuver Goliath?

The short answer:   By being smarter, faster and cheaper.

1.) Outcreative-ing As Opposed To Outspending

Taking on Goliath by trying to buy more ads then him will never work. So what can you do instead? Where is the playing field leveled or give you the hustling entrepreneur the advantage?

The answer: Creating compelling content.

And we are not talking about banner ads here. Your channel online to connect with customers and clients. Whether it be an online TV show, a blog bringing the most interesting articles in your niche or perhaps a Podcast, you have the opportunity to out-create.

The key to compelling content? Making it about your niche and not you. You might not be able to out buy, but you can out-educate, out-inspire and/or out-entertain Goliath.

Who is doing this? 37 Signals [1]. In the words of 37 Signals’ David Heinemeier Hansson: “You can’t outspend, but you can out-educate.”

2.)  Be First:

Goliath has a lot of things to worry about. Sometimes it leads them to worry about the wrong things like how many lawyers to hire for the next lawsuit or whether every other Friday should be short shorts day at the office. That is a good thing.

Are you monitoring your niche online and not just your name and your company’s name? More importantly, if something pops up that is relevant, do you move in like Rambo and offer a thoughtful comment (I guess that isn’t exactly like Rambo…because your goal isn’t to kill people)?

Let’s pretend you are in the wedding flower business. you could have a Google Alert (or whatever Alert you want) setup for every time someone mentions “wedding flowers” or “wedding flower information” or “wedding flower questions” on the web. And then of course, you can leave an insightful comment on the blog or forum.

Who does this well? Dan Schawbel from Personal Branding Blog [2]. Anytime something is mentioned that contains the words “Personal Branding,” Dan is all over it like a kid in a candy store.

Smallness is nimbleness. Use it wisely.

3.)  Be A Human Through Small Talk

Goliath doesn’t care what you had for dinner last night, what your kids names are or how much you love your favorite sports team. Goliath just wants your money (insert evil laughter here).

On social media sites, big brands (not all of them), have trouble being human. Why? Well, for one thing, they might need 4853857 lawyers and 958588 board members to approve a Tweet or Facebook status update before it goes out.

You can out hustle by being a human and focusing on one-on-one relationships. Humans just don’t talk about business 100% of the time. How can you show your personality and care about others? Simple. Ask people how they are doing. Ask what they are working on. Congratulate people on accomplishments. Joke around. Have fun. Schmooze.

It may sound trivial, but it is important and builds genuine relationships. And business is all about relationships, right?

Who does this really well? Scott Stratten aka Unmarketing. One look at his Twitter stream [3]will remind you that business is human. Take that Goliath!

Wrapping it up:

It used to be large and in charge was the way to go. Now, we all have the tools available to become nimble David’s and outmaneuver Goliath.

How are you acting smarter, faster, cheaper and taking on Goliath?