4 Principles Small Business Can Take From Big Business
It is always great when you work in a big business. There are plenty of resources and expertise available to make use of. The problem is, do you really get the same rewarding feeling compared with when you start a business yourself?
There’s nothing like working in an organisation where you feel valued, work alongside a great team, and have customers and clients that truly appreciate what you do for them. This is even more so the case when you’re in a small business, without a mass amount of funding, or a large team to help you out when the going gets tough.
It is inspirational when you witness how resourceful people can be under pressure. Everyone is unique in finding their own way not only to maintain momentum, but to really get motivated when under pressure.
The trick is to understand the methods that work in big business, add some entrepreneurial flare, and come up with new and innovative ways of becoming resourceful with your time and money. Here are some examples to start you off.
It works in big business! The individuals who climb to the top are often those who can effectively delegate, and manage what’s happening around them, with minimal time and effort.
The same applies to small business. You may not have the resources internally, but rest assured, the resources are out there if you know where to look. In the case of small business, let’s change the word delegate to outsource. Different word, same principle.
I appreciate we can’t all go out there and hire J. K. Rowling to produce all our content, or Pearson, Spectre, Litt (Suits reference) to deal with all our legal business. But the truly resourceful will find a way to receive a helping hand without spending a whole lot of time forum shopping and forking out for huge professional fees. Utilise friends, family members, interns, or anyone who may have an interest in your field. They gain the benefit of learning and being a part of your business, and you get an extra pair of hands in return. Win – win!
A personal favourite of mine. Why do something yourself, or even pay someone else to do it, when you can let automation do the work for you. Technology really has been designed to make our lives easier, and this applies equally to businesses as it does to our personal lives.
Huge investments are pumped into developing technologies for business use. Automation can take many forms, and it’s just a case of working with what you feel comfortable.
There’s no need to go out and start learning how to code a computer program. Simple steps which are easy to grasp can take you a long way. From email filing rules and auto replies, content scheduling through the likes of Hootsuite, all the way to Artificial Intelligence and virtual assistants. There are a lot of solutions out there which are free or affordable, and can help free up some valuable time.
Regulation in big business – an absolute nightmare. Even more so when the business specialises in professional services and are subject to a comprehensive regulatory framework. However, the concept of regulation can be applied to small business, and all employees and entrepreneurs should learn how to self-regulate. Take the time to consider matters such as your ethos, the kind of behaviours which are in the best interests of your customers, and ensuring you maintain public trust in your goods and services.
A framework of good practices and principles will take your business, and attitudes of it, a long way. Continually improve this framework and make your clients aware of it. After all, if you ever face a difficult situation or even a legal challenge, you can protect yourself with the knowledge that you carry out business with attention, integrity, and in a way which observes with your customers wishes. No one can argue with that!
Big businesses are always keeping an eye on what’s happening around them. Marketing teams gathering feedback and monitoring competition. Procurements teams finding new solutions and valuable products to insource. Senior management evaluating what’s working and what isn’t within and outside the organisation.
Trying to carry out the jobs of multiple departments in a small business can be daunting as well as a drain on your resources. But evaluations are key drivers towards business success. So how can small business adopt these functions without getting overburdened with departmental admin? The best way to evaluate whilst saving time and resources is to have the information come to you. Don’t waste your efforts by going out to find it. Surveys are a great way of gathering quick feedback. Post quick and simple adverts when you are looking for new solutions or partnerships. Setting up online alerts is a great way to find internet chatter about your business with minimum effort.
The overall principle
Many of the positives of big business can be applied to small business. You’ll learn a lot from seeking experienced advice and asking the experts. Understand how they manage day-to-day business operations and deal with common business challenges.
The success of this principle lies with your ability to practice them in a way that is relevant to you, and your resourcefulness will go a long way in ensuring the success of your business.