Do large businesses have a significant advantage over small businesses purely by the fact that they have a larger marketing budget? Is it possible for a small business to compete with a larger company within the same market?

Many small business owners get discouraged and give up before they fairly assess the market. This article will give five easy-to-implement strategies for small business marketing that can be used in competitive markets where you are going head-to-head with big business challengers.

It is all about your strengths and weakness and how you use them to your advantage. The five strategies are: analyze the history of your market, perform a S.W.O.T. analysis, own your uniqueness, magnify your strengths, and mention your competitor’s weaknesses. When used in conjunction with each other, these five strategies will help you slay the giant in your market!

Analyze the history of your market

Before you jump to any conclusions in your specific market it is prudent to do a thorough analysis of the history of your industry and how your company fits within that industry. This exercise is an essential part of any situation analysis portion of a marketing plan.

Doctors always start your visit with something known in the medical industry as a “History and Physical.” This takes a look backwards at your health history and gives the doctor perspective on what may be causing your current ailment. The same is true for small business marketing. You need to look backwards to assess the foundation of your market as it will give you good perspective as to how to move forward.

This part of the marketing plan process is more tedious and may not give you tons of new insight, however it is foundational to giving you ideas to build on as you develop your marketing campaign.

Perform a S.W.O.T. analysis

After the history of your market has been completed it is time to evaluate the current state of your own company and your competitors. The tool used for this is the S.W.O.T. analysis. S.W.O.T. stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. There is a wide interpretation on how a tool like this is used, but some basic principles apply.

Conducting a S.W.O.T. analysis involves both looking at yourself and your competition. Some suggest that the “S” and “W” of the acronym are for internal examination while the “O” and “T” focus on external examination. What is important is that you make a list of all the strengths and weaknesses you find during your analysis and then correlate them into how they would produce opportunities and threats in your marketplace.

Your end result should be some key areas where you can capitalize on your strengths (more on that in a moment) and expose the weaknesses of your competitors.

Own your uniqueness

The S.W.O.T. analysis is a great start in developing your Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.). This is either a statement or slogan that you can use in your marketing efforts to help distinguish you from everyone else in your market. What makes you unique? What do you do better than anyone else? If someone were to ask the question, “why you over any one else?” what would you reply.

It is important to become laser focused on your U.S.P. as it will be the foundational message that will weave through all of your marketing.

Magnify your strengths

Not only is the U.S.P. the core message you want to deliver to the prospects in your market, but it should also magnify your strengths. You want to make sure this is a clear message that is sent to everyone. It is important too that your strengths are worded in a way that will explain the benefit to the potential customer. Always think benefits over features when speaking to customers.

Mention your competitor’s weaknesses

It is important that your market also know the weaknesses of your competitors. You don’t have to mention other companies by name, but always bring up the weaknesses of their operation as part of how your solution to a common problem of your potential customer could be affected by the shortcomings of other solutions in the marketplace.