David vs. Goliath: Tips On Leveling The Playing Field
You’re David – the Small Businessperson – just starting out in competition with Goliath Ltd., the hulking corporation down the block which may be in the same industry as you, but that’s where the similarity ends. He’s well-funded and been around for what seems like forever; you’re just starting out with a tiny budget, a wing, and a prayer.
What are the chances of your being around when the dust settles?
You’d be surprised to learn that they’re pretty good – if you discard that slingshot and arm yourself with two modern weapons… today’s easy-to-afford technology and the virtual team you should consider assembling.
Let’s start with the technology you’ll need to market yourself. Where once it was unaffordable to anyone without in-house teams of designers, Web developers, and IT folk, today the prices of building a Web site, reaching out via an e-mail marketing campaign, and utilizing the latest search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are all fairly reasonable.
Which means that the technology playing field for Small and Big Guys is as level as it’s ever going to get since pretty much everyone has access to the same tools.
However, planning and executing your business strategies is going to take some skilled people on your team, and perhaps now isn’t the time for you to think about hiring them what with your David-size budget. What is within your means, however, is a “virtual team” to whom you can turn and outsource all the work you ought not to be doing yourself given how many other things you have on your plate.
But wait! We can hear you say that you need to concentrate on making money to pay the bills, not spending on services you can’t afford. This isn’t the time for that, you say.
We say that you couldn’t be more wrong. If now isn’t the time to call upon expert advice, what is? Expecting to wait until you have the money to do so is the classic chicken-and-egg dilemma; you’ll never have the money if you don’t utilize your team of experts now. You don’t want to skimp where skimping can be damaging to your business’ health.
Just remember… we’re talking about a virtual team here. They aren’t on your payroll and you’ll just be paying them for their expertise when it’s needed. That team needs at a minimum three types of professionals:
- A business consultant to help you tweak your plans and strategies.
- Marketing consultants who know what they’re doing when it comes to online marketing, e-mail, Web design, SEO, social media, and so on.
- A technology consultant.
Consider this real-life example where you’d be able to put your virtual team to good use.
You’ve signed up for a booth at a trade show and you’re rarin’ to go. But wait! Have you put together a marketing budget and a strategy to make the show successful for you? Do you have a list of people who have registered to attend so you can reach out to them via e-mail prior to show date? What about that booth? What is it going to look like and who will man it? What sort of technology do you need to demo your product or service? How are you going to collect the names and addresses of leads? And, most importantly, what are you going to do with your shoebox of leads the day after the show? Do you have a campaign to nurture those leads and turn them into customers?
If you believe you can answer those questions all by yourself, more power to you. But you’ll quickly find that having some expert support will keep your business focused and on-target.
One more real-life example…
Say you have a list of 5,000 people in your database to whom you’d like to send an e-newsletter twice a month. That’s 120,000 impressions a year! But what will your readers be seeing? You’d be amazed at how some of the biggest businesses – some the size of Goliath Ltd. – skimp on the design and send out something that turns off potential customers.
Your marketing expert should be telling you that for less than $1,000 you can add a design expert to your virtual team who can create a gorgeous, professional-looking product that will have you competing with Goliath Ltd. in no time – if you chose not to skimp on what is surely an insignificant cost compared to the what it can do for your business’ reputation.
That’s the perfect example of how you can quickly level the playing field if you take the right steps and budget yourself correctly. Then, Goliath Ltd., look out!