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Posted: 2006-08-05 / Author: Joseph Plazo

Competing With Large Corporates - And Winning

Competing With Large Corporates - and Winning: Are you a starting entrepreneur? Is it your first month of operation?

I can hear your knees knocking. Do you wonder whether you can hold your own against the giants that dominate your chosen industry. The entrenched enemy tend to have vast resources, a strong marketing machinery and of course, a powerful brand presence.

How can one compete against that?

It's easy: with a little bit of entrepreural guerrilla skirmishing. Microsoft did it. Gateway did it. IBM did it. Do you think these companies started out big? Of course not. Microsoft started out from Bill Gate's backyard.

You can be a Bill Gates. Here's how.


There's no sense selling soap, candies or match sticks to the general public. Everyone from Jack to Jill sells this product. Unless you have economies of scale and a whopping system to keep costs low, you can't fight against the Unilevers of this world. Let the giants sell the commodities. Stick to a well differentiated product that caters tp a small segment of society. For instance, you can market organic dog shampoo to Doberman Owners. Or you can offer custom body kits to Honda Type R afficionados.

Serve a small market segment which the bog boys overlooked. You'll quickly grow loyal customer base.


Do you sell pizza? If it looks like Yellow Cab, tastes like yellow Cab and smells like Yellow Cab, your customers would rather go to Yellow Cab. You'll be regarded as a second rate imitator.

Rather than imitate, differentiate. Provide value adding features to a product that everyone considers commoditizes. If the features are unique and helpful enough, you'll inspire repeat purchase and massive word of mouth marketing.

Take the example of Hammer Baking Soda. Instead of selling their product as simple baking soda, they positioned it as a super product that removes cooler smells, cleanses, deodorizes and everything else a housewife might need.

Apple wasn't just another PC. They positioned themselves as a lifestyle.

And Tony Robbins wasn't just a speech coach. He was an Empowerment Guru- who charges R20000 a seminar.


People fight tooth and nail to gain market share. That can be a problem when competition boils down to price wars. Margins diminish and profits sink below the horizon.

Compete on cost leadership! Source your raw materials and labor from third world countries. This allows you to cut prices, but maintain margins. Plus, you give people jobs!

Entrepreneurship can give a high that will make many businessowners forsake sleep and social life just to grow the business. I know- I've been an insomniac entrepreneur for years. Maximize your company's longevity by following the three rules of entrepreneural guerilla skirmishing. You might just end up the next Microsoft!

About The Author: A master of manifestation to his associates, Joseph R. Plazo offers intense executive coaching so people can find jobs and build careers.

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