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The business world is a cutthroat world and business owners are constantly looking for new small business strategy ideas in order to get a leg up on their competitors. It’s hard enough staying up to par with your fellow small business owners, but how can small businesses compete successfully with larger businesses like Amazon and Walmart?

While it may seem impossible, your small business has a few significant advantages over these retail giants. Here are some tips and tools from Matchbox Design Group to help you compete, as well as a few indispensable tools to level the playing field.

Before you do anything else, make sure that your business has been properly registered with the state. This involves doing some research to ensure that your business has followed all the local guidelines and regulations.

This often involves ensuring that you have a registered agent (if you decide to register as an LLC or a corporation), an operating agreement, and are in compliance with local requirements. If you’re unsure whether your business meets the necessary guidelines, there’s plenty of information online to help you out.

Make The Right Real Estate Decisions

A significant and often overlooked aspect of small business strategy is location. If you operate out of a brick-and-mortar store, the location of your storefront will play a crucial role in your ability to attract customers. The perfect location for your business includes a good balance of visibility and affordability.

Try not to give up one for the other! Evaluating an area for retail space is a complex process, so if you’re not sure where to start, it’s best to seek advice from a professional who’s done this before, whether you’re looking to lease, buy, or build your store.

Make The Right Real Estate Decisions

Streamline Order Fulfillment

Big-box companies have so many customers that they can afford to lose a few to service issues and shipping delays. You can’t. Keeping your customers happy should be your top priority! You might even be able to attract some dissatisfied customers from those major retailers by offering a better customer shopping experience and faster shipping fulfillment.

A large way you can answer the question “how can small businesses successfully compete against larger businesses” is through providing excellent customer service and achieving customer satisfaction.

Ensure your customers receive their orders quickly by developing an effective order fulfillment system. There are several ways to streamline order fulfillment to meet customer demand for rapid delivery. For example, your fulfillment strategy should include the use of collaborative tools to stay in touch with your suppliers and a good inventory management system to ensure you have the right products when and where you need them.

Delegate Tasks To Free Up Time

There’s only so much time in the day, and as a small business owner, you have to make the most of it through planning and small business strategy. Delegating mundane and specialty tasks to freelancers is a great way to free up time so you can work on bigger projects – including those that will help you compete against big brands.

You can hire freelancers to handle all kinds of tasks, from data entry to bookkeeping to administrative tasks. When it comes to more in-depth projects like web design and digital marketing, it’s to work with a driven, results-oriented team like Matchbox Design Group.

Boost Your Online Presence

The online visibility and branding of your business are just as important as the location of your brick-and-mortar store. If customers can’t find your business online, there’s a good chance they’ll buy from one of your bigger competitors instead. Work on boosting your web presence utilizing SEO best practices so your company appears at the top of local search results.

Most importantly, make sure your customers can find the information they’re looking for online, including your store hours, product availability, location, and contact information. If you struggle with tacking local SEO and the corresponding local SEO cost, connect with the team at Matchbox Design Group for guaranteed ranking improvement.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

As previously stated, a great small business strategy & tactic is to make sure your customers are happy! Major retailers fall victim to common customer service issues that cost them many customers every day. For example, big companies often take too long to respond to customers, offer cookie-cutter answers to inquiries, or transfer customers from rep to rep without providing a clear solution to their issues.

Due to your smaller size, you can spend more time catering to your customers’ needs, offering a stellar customer service approach that goes above and beyond that of your competitors. Research shows that the number one reason customers switch brands is feeling underappreciated. Capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses to attract more customers to your own business.


Small business owners often ask, “how can small businesses compete successfully with larger businesses?”. They feel like their growth is limited by the presence of big box stores and e-commerce giants, but this is far from true. There are several ways to thrive as a small business owner, even if those major brands seem to be getting bigger every day. Take advantage of your small business strategy and strengths, as well as the digital tools and services available to you — and you’ll have more than a fighting chance!

Matchbox Design Group is a full-service digital marketing agency in St. Louis. To enhance your marketing efforts that yield results, connect with us today.

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Categories:  St. Louis Small Business

About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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