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Standing out in a crowd: Six ways small businesses can differentiate themselves

by OnDeck Australia,   Apr 24, 2024


In today’s saturated marketplace, effective marketing strategies are crucial for small businesses to distinguish themselves. However, with fierce competition, many need help to do so, which is where brokers can assist by bringing their expertise and resources to help small businesses secure the financing needed to stand out.


Research commissioned by OnDeck Australia highlights small businesses’ challenges in standing out. According to the findings, over one in three (36%) small businesses find it challenging to differentiate themselves. Only one in 10 (11%) reported having no issues setting themselves apart from competitors.


Nick Reily, National Partnerships Manager at OnDeck Australia, says small businesses can face multiple challenges to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market. “Today’s small businesses are not just competing with bricks and mortar businesses in the same location. They can also face competition from online brands, including overseas companies that can significantly undercut local businesses on price – though not always on quality,” Nick said.


“This is putting homegrown Aussie businesses under tremendous pressure. But with the support of brokers, small businesses can take advantage of cost-effective strategies to enhance their brand awareness,” added Nick.


Brokers can play a critical role helping their small business clients access fast, effective funding. Our research confirms that one in four (23%) small businesses report difficulty accessing capital – funds that can be critical for marketing activities. Also, we are seeing increased demand for commercial lending, which the broker channel is driving.


“In the last month, we have seen a 32% uptick in month-on-month lending – primarily sourced from our broker partners. This highlights the role brokers can play in helping small businesses access the funds they need to grow and strengthen their brand and product offering,” said Nick.


OnDeck’s Lightning Loans® are available for up to $175,000, with funds available in as fast as two hours to approved applicants. No financials are required – just six months of recent business bank statements.


Six ways small businesses can differentiate themselves

Justin Brady, Director of Marketing at OnDeck Australia, explains five cost-effective strategies small businesses can use to stand out from the crowd.

1. Provide exceptional service

Great service matters for every business. However, small businesses can be more customer-centric than their larger competitors by taking the time to understand each customer’s needs and finding a bespoke solution where necessary.

2. Embrace tech to trim costs

Cut costs, not service. Technology can be instrumental to this, allowing small businesses to automate ‘back room’ functions while focusing on a skilled customer-facing team who can deliver personalised service.

3. Make being ‘small’ your big advantage

Small businesses have the critical advantage of being flexible and innovative. Use this to your advantage. Explore new product lines, new modes of product delivery, such as online sales, and new ways of spreading the word about your business, like social media.


4. Work with a finance broker for fast funding to secure discounts on trading stock

Partnering with a broker can provide small businesses with numerous benefits. The key benefit is that a broker can help you access additional capital so you can take advantage of time-critical business opportunities, such as supplier offers or early payment discounts.


5. Step up your online presence

People tend to judge a book by its cover. A dated logo, a boring website and near-zero social media presence can see your business treading water while competitors forge ahead. Level the playing field by improving your online presence, securing the support of professional designers if necessary.


“These are simple steps that many small businesses can easily achieve though additional funding may be necessary for some enterprises to reach their full potential,” said Justin. “This is where our fast, efficient funding comes in, allowing brokers to support their small business clients reach their full potential.”


To learn more about how OnDeck can help finance your client’s marketing plans, please email us at or call 1800 831 294 (Opt. 5).



Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.



Important information from OnDeck:

* Loan amounts and loan terms are for illustrative purposes only, which the lender may adjust in its sole discretion without notice. Eligibility and approval are subject to a standard credit assessment and the applicants’ business circumstances which may include information such as industry, time in business, estimated revenue and other data. Not all loan amounts, term lengths or rates will be available to all applicants. Loans are subject to lender approval. Fees, terms and conditions apply.

^The timeframe required to process and fund loan applications may vary for each individual application. Factors such as the completeness and accuracy of application materials, verification processes, and external circumstances can influence the processing & funding timelines.

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