A small company can use a number of business strategies, depending on its situation. For example, new companies may face different challenges than companies that are more established. Therefore, the business strategies they implement may be different from those of key competitors. Four types of business strategies include the growth, product differentiation, price skimming and acquisition strategy.
A growth strategy entails introducing new products or adding new features to existing products. Sometimes, a small company may be forced to modify or increase its product line to keep up with competitors. Otherwise, customers may start using the new technology of a competitive company. For example, cell phone companies are constantly adding new features or discovering new technology. Cell phone companies that do not keep up with consumer demand will not stay in business very long. A small company may also adopt a growth strategy by finding a new market for its products. Sometimes, companies find new markets for their products by accident. For example, a small consumer soap manufacturer may discover through marketing research that industrial workers like its products. Hence, in addition to selling soap in retail stores, the company could package the soap in larger containers for factory and plant workers.
Product Differentiation Strategy
Small companies will often use a product differentiation strategy when they have a competitive advantage, such as superior quality or service. For example, a small manufacturer or air purifiers may set themselves apart from competitors with their superior engineering design. Obviously, companies use a product differentiation strategy to set themselves apart from key competitors. However, a product differentiation strategy can also help a company build brand loyalty, according to the article “Porter’s Generic Strategies” at QuickMBA.com.
A price-skimming strategy involves charging high prices for a product, particularly during the introductory phase. A small company will use a price-skimming strategy to quickly recover its production and advertising costs. However, there must be something special about the product for consumers to pay the exorbitant price. An example would be the introduction of a new technology. A small company may be the first to introduce a new type of solar panel. Because the company is the only one selling the product, customers that really want the solar panels may pay the higher price. One disadvantage of a price-skimming is that it tends to attract competition relatively quickly, according to the Small Business Administration. Enterprising individuals may see the profits the company is reaping and produce their own products, provided they have the technological know-how.
A small company with extra capital may use an acquisition strategy to gain a competitive advantage. An acquisition strategy entails purchasing another company, or one or more product lines of that company. For example, a small grocery retailer on the east coast may purchase a comparable grocery chain in the Midwest to expand its operations.