Rudy. Rocky. The Bad News Bears. The Karate Kid.

What do all of these movies have in common? The heroes are all underdogs — and everyone loves to cheer for a ragtag team of misfits that comes from behind to win it all.

Since this week is National Small Business Week, we wanted to celebrate the underdogs of the business world — the SMBs.

Big companies are really the Cobra Kai of the business world. They have every advantage at their disposal — more money, more employees, more brand recognition, more everything. And yet SMBs are still thriving and disrupting some of the most innovative industries today.

Why do we love to root for the underdogs? Because we want them to win and succeed, against all odds. Here’s how SMBs today are breaking out the crane kick to win the fight and build a powerful business.

The Path to Disruption

While it may seem impossible for SMBs to overcome the many advantages of big businesses, the market today has changed. Small businesses have found that by targeting underserved niches in the market, they can carve out small, but growing, segments of their own. Disruption Theory explains how small businesses can build simple products that solve a small problem for this segment of the market, and then slowly but surely move upmarket to gain more and more market share.

These small companies are often innovative and offer cutting-edge products for a lower price point than their biggest competitors. Staid, legacy companies are being overturned by fast, agile startups that seem to come out of nowhere. These SMBs are finding original business ideas, earning millions in venture capital funding, and taking over the market from existing big businesses left and right.

The Power of SaaS

Why have so many small businesses been able to disrupt established markets so rapidly? Part of the success of SMBs is due to powerful Software-as-a-Service tools that are now available for nearly every business function. In order to start a business, you no longer need to buy expensive servers and software up front as you did in years past. As the cost of operating a business goes down, the ability to grow revenue skyrockets.

One of the many tools that SMBs have not traditionally had access to is powerful business analytics. Game-changing products like InsightSquared enable even the smallest teams to utilize the advantages of data-driven management, without the high costs of traditional business intelligence tools. Before, only enterprise companies could afford an analyst to glean insights from their business data — now every SMB is able to optimize their business by making sense of their data.

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A Bright Future for SMBs

So many of the traditional advantages enjoyed by big businesses are now gone. In fact, as the playing field has leveled, the advantages of behemoth businesses have become disadvantages. SMBs now have access to equally powerful tools, enabling them to go to market faster than ever before. And they still have the ability to make decisions quickly, change course on a dime, and adapt to the marketplace rapidly.

It’s only natural to root for the underdog. Something within us just wants them to succeed, no matter the odds. Today’s SMBs are working the hardest, pushing the limits, and getting creative to beat big businesses at every turn. SMBs have a bright future, and it’s only getting brighter.

Image via Columbia Pictures. 
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