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Overcoming the Small Business Inferiority Complex

"Anyone who has worked in or run a small business has felt the ugly sting of an inferiority complex to their larger rivals at some point," writes Rohit Bhargava at the Influential Marketing Blog. If you run a small operation, you're used to prospects who have never heard of your company. You know what they're thinking—here's how to deal with it:

You're too small. According to Bhargava, you have two ways to fight this. The less appealing option is to pretend your company's larger than it really is—not by lying, perhaps, but by failing to correct erroneous assumptions. The better alternative, he argues, is making size the enemy. "You can offer more personalized attention, you are not faceless, you are locally located, and your flatter structure means they get more high quality service," he explains.

You don't have enough experience. Prospective customers have a tendency to think of new companies as inherently inexperienced. Counter this perception by highlighting the industry knowledge and polished skills you—and your staff—bring to your enterprise.

You don't have the necessary resources. This might be the toughest perception to battle. When your usual order is 100 widgets, how do you assuage the concerns of buyers who need 1,000? The key, notes Bhargava, is demonstrating that you're prepared to handle it with additional staff or production capabilities.

The Po!nt: Don't let an inferiority complex get the best of you—challenge negative perceptions head-on and prove that you can do a better job than your larger competitors.

Source: Influential Marketing Blog.

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Vol. 5, No. 36    September 6, 2011

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