As a small business, it can sometimes feel impossible to compete against the big names of the industry. Not only are they already known by all of your potential customers, but they have resources far beyond what you do. They can make promises, offer services, and set prices that you can’t.
Some small businesses try anyway, and the results are generally disastrous.
There’s a scene in the movie Moneyball where the Boston Red Sox are trying to recruit players for the upcoming baseball season so they can compete against their rivals, the Yankees. There’s just one problem: the Yankees have a considerably larger budget than the Red Sox.
The Yankees can afford the best player available in virtually every position. Meanwhile, the Red Sox can barely afford a top-tier player in one position.
As the management team argues over who they should put all their money on, coach Billy Beane realizes they’re doing it all wrong.
It’s at this moment where he says this famous line:
“If we try to play like the Yankees in here, we will lose to the Yankees out there.”
The same is true for a small freight company. If you try to do things like the big guys, you’ll quickly find yourself overpromising and underdelivering. In an industry like trucking where fulfillment is literally in the job description, that just won’t fly.
So how do you compete? You don’t. Not head on, at least. Instead, you subvert.
Be the Better at One Thing
Big freight companies offer virtually every service across every industry. They have the capacity to do that. But no one can be the best at every service simultaneously. You’ve almost certainly heard people complain about a specific aspect of a big freight company they’ve used.
If one person is complaining about it, chances are, a lot of other people are too. And that means you have an opportunity.
Focus on being the best in a niche. In the same way you can’t afford to provide all the services a large company can, the large companies can’t afford to focus all their energy into a singular service.
That means you can best them.
Utilize Better Technology and Software
As a small business, you can be far more flexible than a big company can dream of being. When a large company does a software upgrade or transition, it can take a year or more to see the process through. And along the way, they run into all sorts of problems.
The same goes for hardware.
That’s why so many large-scale companies are using legacy programs and outdated equipment, despite their much larger resources.
Your small business has the opportunity to find better technology that allows you to do a better job with less work. Focus on automation and integration. If you’re small enough, you may even be able to experiment a little bit with different platforms till you find what works best for you.
Software and technology can be a big investment, but it’s one that can pay off.
Grow Smart. Hire Slow.
Big companies tend to be bloated and inefficient. They can afford to do that. Small companies need to have a purpose behind every position. Each job needs to justify the cost it has. Rather than hiring in anticipation of growth, you should only hire when absolutely necessary.
Many small companies have been brought down by trying to grow their staff too fast.
Instead, utilize third-party services to expand your capabilities without spending money you don’t have. At Night Dispatch, we offer 24-hour dispatch services, so you can keep your freight moving, even when you’re off the clock.
This allows you to provide critical services like 24-hour freight tracking at an affordable cost. It’s time to subvert the big-company competition. Contact Night Dispatch today.