LOOKING at the revenue generated by some of the country's biggest companies, it might be hard to imagine how small businesses and entrepreneurs could ever win the competitive edge.
However, many small business people often have more of an edge than they realise, especially on face value, says Glen Carlson, co-founder of business accelerator Dent Global.
Carlson believes bigger 'faceless' companies often lose the battle when it comes to fostering a reputation around key people.
He says small business leaders with personality are more likely to engage with their consumers and stakeholders on a more direct level.
"We have now seen hundreds of small businesses successfully grow people in their teams to become industry influencers, to the business' advantage," says Carlson.
"Rather than sending people to attend conferences, they send people to speak at them. Rather than subscribing to expert reports, these people author them.
"Rather than logos, they look to promote faces."
When a person becomes the face of a brand, Carlson says that person is more likely to be an innovator who attracts other top performers, cultivates a higher standard and cuts through a crowded market.
They are also more likely to appear reliable in the eyes of the customer.
"Consumers prefer to know who's leading a company, who's developing key ideas, and who's making things happen day to day," says Carlson.
"This increases brand trust and consumers are less critical of mistakes when they occur."
Of course, building a brand personality doesn't happen overnight.
Carlson says it's important for small businesses to imbue people with core skills, ones which build their impact against bigger players on the field.
He also encourages leaders to back employees who share valuable insights and maintain an uplifting attitude, regardless of station.
"Especially look for people who can create a cascading effect into their departments," says Carlson.
"For instance, an engineer who speaks at a local conference is able to evangelise their company brand, recruit new talent and even generate new business.
"A manager out networking for partnerships is bringing opportunities to their whole team.
"An accountant who sensibly comments on a blog is able to be a great advocate for their company."
Since Carlson co-founded Dent Global in 2010, he has passed on a similar message to more than 2000 entrepreneurial small businesses.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support