Already the largest contract security company in the world, Allied Universal's employee count is estimated to be 210,000+ with the acquisition. More details on the acquisition here >>
When I saw the news I couldn't help but think about the thousands of small businesses that compete with the largest security companies in the world..
How does it effect the local companies when the biggest companies in the world keep getting bigger?
How can a company with 100 employees compete with an international powerhouse with seemingly endless resources and a willingness to bid jobs at insanely low rates?
7 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete With National Competitors
In today's article we unpack seven strategies to help you hone your ability to compete with the largest security companies in the world.
In short, your ability to compete will come down to relationships, service, and the ability to prove value and justify a higher cost.
Ready to dive in?
#1 Use Your Story
Winning the hearts (and dollars) of your prospective customers is all about effective storytelling. There is something that makes your company unique, and that needs to be highlighted in all your marketing efforts.
Your story should be leveraged into a competitive angle that helps you stand out in the sales process. This can be any of the following:
- The founders story. Why the business was started, and the mission of the company.
- Your team's background. Is your company veteran owned? Are you all former law enforcement officers?
- Any specific requirements/certifications required of your officers. For example, all officers are bilingual, off-duty police officers, receive training above and beyond minimum requirements, etc.
- Your management structure. Do you offer more supervisor visits or 1-on-1 meetings with your clients?
Key takeaway: Break out a whiteboard and list all the things that make you different than your competitors. Then turn those differences into stories that can be used in your marketing efforts and proposals.
#2 Find Your Niche
To gain traction as a small security company you have to pick a niche and get laser focused on that market segment.
Picking one target market helps you develop an intimate knowledge of your customer, and that will shine through in the sales process.
This is how the team at Reliance Security (who we interviewed last week) grew from 15 to 150+ contracts in a short period of time. They spent the first 3-years of their business focused solely on residential accounts.
They took time to learn what property managers love, hate, and appreciate. And they leveraged their existing accounts into referrals and more contracts.
Only after they grew to 100+ officers and a fully staffed management team did they begin targeting other industries.
To be clear, we're not suggesting you turn down business from opportunities outside your niche. But 90% of your business development efforts should be focused in the same direction.
Key Takeaway: Companies that boast "we do it all" are actually communicating that they're a jack of all trades and a master of none. Pick one target and become insanely good at serving that niche.
#3 Deliver Incredible Service and Results
As a small business you don't have the economy of scale to compete on price with the big companies (more on that in a bit..). So you have to compete on additional value and results.
Focus on delivering as much value to your existing clients as possible. Delivering incredible service will boost your reputation and help develop the references or case studies you need to win more accounts in the future.
Consider incorporating guard management in your operation so you can easily identify when officers aren't doing what they're required to do.
Get ahead of issues before they jeopardize your reputation and relationships with your clients.
Finally, find a way to communicate the ROI of your services to your client. Vendors that can prove their value to the operation will be retained for long-term relationships.
Key Takeaway: Make sure you have the tools and processes in place to really deliver world-class service and results for your existing accounts.