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4 Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn from Large Corporations

By Sean M. Hugo, CPA

It may seem like small businesses and large corporations are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of operations, day-to-day management and structure, but not everything is always as it appears. Running a business, no matter its size, always come with its own pitfalls and challenges. And while perhaps opposite in size, there is much that small businesses can learn from large corporations. 

1) Process implementation and management is good

Whether your business is large or small, there is no denying that there are processes needed to keep things running smoothly, and efficiently. Many small businesses shy away from implementing clear processes and protocols, for a variety of reasons. Maybe things run fine without it, or maybe it seems to "corporate" to have it in place.

However, having processes in places will keep operations running smooth, and add better accountability across the board. It also makes communication much easier if everyone is clear on what their roles are, and responsibilities in any given process.

2) Don't stop innovating

Many businesses become complacent after a while, and it is easy to give in to that temptation. After all, if daily operations are running smoothly then what is the point of disruption? But the truth is, is too easy to go from comfort to stagnation.

Innovation should be encouraged, because there is always room for improvement. It is also important to encourage employees to share ideas, give feedback and foster innovation that they create. It goes a long way towards employee satisfaction, and ensures that your business remains current with the times.

3) Embrace technology

In this digital day and age, there is absolutely no reason not to invest in technology infrastructure. Scaling your business for technological systems may seem daunting, but it is proven to have results. Any business, large or small, needs to be investing in the right technology for their business and making sure it serves departmental needs.

Staying analog in this new business world may seem like a great selling point, but technology will eventually be needed for operations. Invest now in the right systems so that everyone is able to operate with the right tools, and keep employee feedback in mind when choosing the right technological infrastructure for your company.

4) Get to know your customer base

The earlier point directly feeds into this - your business will only thrive if you truly understand your customer base and what their needs are. Use marketing research, digital tools and simple customer feedback tools to understand your target demographic. Ask yourself:

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their preferences?
  • What do they foresee in the future from the industry?

These are just some questions to ask to get to the core of the matter, and understand both long-term and short-term customer issues.

This information should also be used to improve overall business processes, as well as drive future business strategy. Getting valuable feedback from your customers will help drive innovation, and will guide business operations in the future.

  • Is there a need to scale up or down?
  • Does there need to be more efficiency in place
  • Do other processes need to be implemented?

These are additional questions that should also be asked and considered when trying to understand customer base.

Implementing New Business Strategies

Often, it may seem overwhelming to start from scratch, or even to start the process of improvement across different departments. But any business, regardless of its size, will benefit from these changes.

Providing structure, clear processes and consistently innovating are ways to beat out the competition and improve the company internally. Use customer and employee feedback as sources for improvement ideas, dig deep to understand what makes your business run, and how that is happening in order to maintain your place in the industry.

For more small business strategy ideas, please contact us for a free consultation on how we can help your business grow.