by Mark Cutler

As a designer or even a showroom, it often looks like a David versus Goliath battle we are waging against the leaders in the industry. They are well funded, well placed and seemingly everyday are taking more and more market share, especially in the sought after luxury market. So what do we do? Give up? No, at times like this it’s important to remember that although it’s a David and Goliath battle, David won. I think there are several lessons we can learn from this ancient story that can really help designers reframe the match up.

David won because he had speed and agility on his side. This is a great thing to remember as a small business you have the ability to pivot, change and refocus in a way that the big guys can’t. It seems like at the moment this ability is actually a super power as the business environment is in a state of radical flux and clients are adjusting to new ways of relating to their homes.

On paper Goliath had David beat. He was bigger and stronger by a mile, and David just had a slingshot. Instead of firing stones all over the place, David was precise and accurate with his aim, shooting only at the giants vulnerable spots and it lead him to victory. We can do the same, with targeted marketing and laser focus on your market niche you can offer your ideal client better value and more personal service than the big guys. Don’t try to be all things to all people, be the best to the best people.

The battle was supposed to be hand to hand combat, but it didn’t have to be. By thinking outside the box David was able to come up with a new paradigm that lead him to victory. So maybe you are struggling to compete with some of the larger, straight to consumer brands. Then don’t! Find a way to compete in a different way that they can’t offer, whether it’s hyper personal service or high touch experiences, it’s up to you, but trying to beat them at their game is a tough proposition, but see if they can compete in your game, you might be surprised at the results.

Although it might be hard to believe, David’s slingshot was pushing the edge of technology and he used it to great advantage. So why don’t you? Technology now offers designers of all sizes huge advantages that were previously only the property of large firms. Take DesignerInc for example, it can cut your sourcing time in half, streamline your purchasing and outsource expediting, giving you a huge competitive advantage. Employing tools like this will allow you to concentrate more on your client and less on your back office, that might be just what it takes to bring down the giant.

Although it might look like a daunting task, facing a giant isn’t an impossible one, you just have to think hard, plan ahead and create a strategy that no one saw coming.