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Level the Playing Field: Build Outside Expertise

April 14, 2015

The 23 million small businesses in the United States represent a huge piece of our economy, but there’s no disputing the struggle many face when going up against their larger competitors.

The 23 million small businesses in the United States represent a huge piece of our economy, but there’s no disputing the struggle many face when going up against their larger competitors. Think about the impact a big box retailer opening has on local hardware stores, for instance. It’s tough to overcome the brand awareness, marketing spend and technology investment these bigger players have.

Tough, but not impossible. There are eight things you can do to move your business into the big-time where you’ll be able to compete for customers on a level playing field.

This is the first article in an eight-part series that provides tips to help your small business compete with the big guys.

1. Build outside expertise

When you first started out, you were probably the sales team, accountant, marketer and IT person all wrapped into one. As your enterprise grows, you’ll want to work smarter – not harder. To keep your business competitive with larger entities, you have to take a long hard look at where you spend your time. Not everyone is an expert at everything. Growing your business is also about learning to trust others and knowing when to outsource. It’s challenging to let go, but having the experts involved will make your business stronger and more successful. For example, accountants are particularly important as they can help you navigate the complicated world of taxes and payroll.

You should also think about assembling an advisory board that can counsel you on critical issues. Your informal board of directors can help you navigate difficult circumstances, be an honest voice, support you as you take a leap to the next level or just be a sounding board.

The most effective advisory board will be a group of professionals who bring a wide range of skills, experience and diversity to your company.

Next: Embrace and communicate the unique aspects of a small business

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