How the Little Guys Can Win In today’s David-and-Goliath Business World

Speaker Corrine Sandler guest blogs for NSB: Before the internet, small companies didn’t stand a chance against the Goliaths, but today large multinationals and small boutiques have access to the same weapon to fight the war of commerce and that’s: Intelligence.  By gathering actionable data and acting on it immediately, by using it to predict next moves and spot opportunities, the agility of small businesses can and are taking down the big ones without a drop of blood being shed, here are a few tips for small business  in acquiring and using intelligence:
  • If you lack resources, make use of free or inexpensive intelligence-gathering tools. Visit competitors’ websites and collect data about them. Many businesses put a great deal of revealing information on their sites, which can benefit you. Also, make note of any changes on their sites. Google Alerts can tell you when they’re releasing new products or expanding. Use Google analytics tools such as Google Hot Trends to tell you what’s in the collective consciousness – potential consumer demand at any given time. Google’s key word tool will give you ideas for powerful key words in search terms, and use the traffic tool to measure global volume on those key words.
  • Make intelligence-gathering part of your company’s culture. From the manager who overhears a conversation in the grocery checkout line to the clerk obsessed with Twitter, every employee in your business is a potential intelligence resource. Encourage employees to pay attention as they interact with others outside the company. They may discover a nagging issue that no other company is addressing, allowing you to create uncontested market space. Or, you may learn critical information about a competitor that allows you to seize an advantage. Make intelligence gathering a company lifestyle.
  • Appoint a Chief Intelligence Officer (CIO) to coordinate and analyze information from a variety of sources. In smaller companies, leaders tend to rely on pipelines of internal information provided by employees who don’t understand how to use intelligence to make empowering decisions. That can render important data inactionable (unusable or simply not used). A CIO can oversee and coordinate the collection and analysis of intelligence, and brief you – the business leader – daily so that all data is actionable.
  What enables you to make smart, timely decisions is access to precise intelligence…if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win 100 battles without a single loss.  

About Corrine Sandler Corrine Sandler is the founder and CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research Corp, a global market research agency; international professional speaker and author of Wake Up or Die, a new book that applies lessons from Sun Tzu’s ancient classic, The Art of War, to contemporary businesses.

Learn more about Corrine on her speaker profile.