Dan Radak, Negosentro | Large companies have large material, financial, and human resources, and are able to pull of business endeavors that SMBs can only dream of. They are known for being ambitious and driven, and competing with them is hard because they are fierce competitors. However, there are certain things that SMBs can learn from large companies if they watch and analyze them carefully. After all, every company began as a startup, and many corporate giants were launched from dorm rooms and garages.
As a small company, you’ll always have somewhere to turn for best practices, business advice, insights, and tips, from fellow retailers to mentors. Large companies are a great source of insight as well and can impart valuable lessons, especially in managing growth and operations. This is what you can learn from large companies.
- Be a reliable leader
When it comes to running a business, you can’t afford to get frustrated and make the wrong moves, not as an SMB owner. The success of the company depends on your livelihood, while large company managers can base their decisions strictly on facts because they are usually detached enough. Try to make a positive impact, but on a smaller scale. Large companies invest millions in charities and campaigns, while you can do this for the local community. Show you care, get involved, and you’ll get media exposure.
- Building your brand
As an SMB owner, you need to find a way to create an authentic, credible, and strong brand visual identity that’s both strategically and graphically strong. You need a healthy community and culture built up around your product because they’re the ones who keep coming back over and over again and influencing their peers to join in. Think about your brand in the long run.
- Invest in technology
As business and production process is becoming more and more automated, you should invest in technology that will help you to increase efficiency, thus get more done. With the right tools and systems, you won’t spend much time thinking about the little things, but focus on the big picture. Go through your existing processes, identify tasks that can be automated, and incorporate the right apps and programs. Today’s software is usually in an ongoing cycle of development, and due to market pressure, frequent releases have become must in the software release management practices of app developers. This allows them to detect bugs easily and validate features earlier, making their software more reliable and flexible. Start by automating your accounting system, data entry, sales and bookings, and coordinate schedules and projects.
- Hire the right staff
This is a complex task and represents a completely new and different field of business. Being able to hire the right people for the right positions stands at the core of every successful business. As an SMB, you can’t rush this process because there aren’t enough resources to spend on this. Think the process through and avoid making hiring mistakes, because your staff is the one that’s supposed to set you apart from the competition. Avoid hiring someone just because they share some of your cultural trains and you liked them first hand.
- Train your staff
Large companies devote much time and money to the employees’ development and training and providing opportunities for continuous development. By investing in your staff training, you’ll make a positive effect on employee performance and send a strong message that you take staffing seriously. The type of training depends on the kinds of processes you have in place, and there are 2 options – creating and implementing training programs yourself or partnering with a third-party education provider to provide your employees the knowledge and tools required for being top performers in their job positions.
The last advice is to learn to embrace the change. It’s inevitable, but not something to rush into. You need to be tactical and smart about it, because it may push people away if it’s too ambitious and big. When introducing changes into your company, pay attention that they don’t disrupt the functioning of the company. Take a good look at the most successful companies in your field of work, look how they handle their processes and where they invest their time, money, and energy, and implement it on a smaller scale in your SMB.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.