For small businesses there are two simplified pathways to pursue growth and to work to build a long term sustainable business.
Lets start by looking at the commodity market for a small business. By focusing on being a commodity the business loses its identity and must be entirely price sensitive based on similar comoditized competitors. The focus is generally a race to the bottom with each competitor focusing on trying to outlast the other competitor. This way the last business left standing effectivly owns the commodity market.
The problem with this is that small businesses will generally be overrun by much larger businesses and the small businesses with investor backing that can go for years with little to no profit to win a price war. Not to mention the dozens of other competitors in the area.
The commodity market is a slippery road for the small business and in my opinion the focus must be in identifying and creating a niche to focus on. By effectively creating your own unique brand and your own unique methods and philosophies you carve out your own niche in the market.
This allows you to price in a way that makes sense for long term sustainability and it moves you out of the commodity market and into a personalized market where you focus on your product and what makes it unique.
The key for a small business to create long term success is by differentiating yourself from the commodity market and always be looking for what's coming next that can pull you into that market and evolving to remove yourself from that scenario.
Finally be so good at what you do that no one can even come close to your product and the quality and value behind it.