engine - 6:42 pm on Dec 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
Surely, the way any smaller business is going to survive is to do things the big players cannot, and that is with extra service. You can't compete on price, so don't try, unless you have very deep pockets.
Add value, and then add more value. Go the extra mile on support.
When was the last time you got back to a recent buyer and thanked them for their purchase, and then asked them for feedback? When was the last time you got back to a recent buyer and offered them a time-limited discount coupon off their next purchase? Bundle products with service: For example, free extended warranty, free 3-months tech support, money-back scheme.
Aim to become the best in your niche. Become more agile, adapt quicker, update you products more frequently, react to events, etc.
Contact your suppliers and see what special deals they will give you.
It's tougher out there for the smaller business, for sure, and the constant growth opportunities have diminished as the market has matured. That, along with the higher cost for new customer acquisition is why i'd indicated looking after your existing customers.