Competing against larger, better-known corporates can seem like a daunting challenge for today’s start-ups. But with the number of new companies expected to reach a record-breaking 600,000 this year, their share of the marketplace is rapidly increasing. Adopting the right strategy from the start can help a company stand out amongst the crowd and enable it to flourish in a competitive market.

Be different

The real trick is finding a gap in the market and having the right service or product to fill it. Differentiating your service offering is key. In a sector dominated by well-established brands, it’s only those newcomers which meet a largely unmet demand that will capture the consumer’s attention.

Be interesting

It goes without saying that it helps to stand out, for all the right reasons, when competing against larger companies. Pursuing interesting or unusual opportunities can also pay dividends – not just in providing investment opportunities, but also in raising your start-up’s profile and promoting innovation.

Be collaborative

Running your own business doesn’t have to be a solo venture when the power of collective action can help early-stage companies achieve their goals. Small companies are right to be cautious in selecting the right partner, but it’s foolish to ignore the potential strength found in numbers – collaboration with the right partners can generate innovation and help raise your profile.

Be cautious

Taking risks and being innovative are an important part of competing as a small player, but it’s also crucial to remain focused on your market. The temptation to run before you can walk can seriously damage your prospects or, at worst, lead to your downfall.

The innovation and drive often found in early-stage businesses is unrivalled, even by corporate giants. But there is much more that start-ups can actively do to help them stay ahead in crowded industries that contain well-funded players. With the right strategy, there is always space on the start-up scene for a new kid on the block.

By Amer Hasan, CEO of minicabit