It’s never been easy to be a large business, when I worked at IBM the employees often described the company as “a slow moving dinosaur”. It wasn’t anything ‘personal’ about IBM, it was the fact that it was so large that it took longer for messages to be filtered down through the masses. It was also the fact that it took longer for IBM to react to changes in the market as there was more of it to manoeuvre.
Having slow reactions meant it was less adaptable to change. At one point IBM had the same revenue as the 17th largest country in the world, and it was in hot competition with Microsoft. But nowadays, it’s a name you’re most likely to see on a laptop or recording tennis stats at Wimbledon.
Things have changed a lot since that time. Some of this change has come about from the existence of the internet and some of it because small businesses have been recognised as being able to bring about both financial growth and security that the western world is seeking. They can also deliver the most outstanding service that big business can sometimes find to be too much of a challenge.
Here are the reasons why it’s good to be a small business in this day and age:
Big Fish. Small businesses can take advantage of being a big fish in their chosen speciality. They can flourish by serving a narrow market. Being a specialist in a field means that you can command a bigger price.
Experience. many small businesses have access to deep knowledge of their particular field. Some large businesses send out twenty something consultants who haven’t had much life or business experience to advise companies. Who would you pick?
Customer focused. Many small businesses change and grow by responding to the requests of their clients. A particular product may be requested that will address the needs of one company – then this will often turn into a major opportunity.
Fast moving. Small business can rapidly remould and adapt their business models to fit opportunities. This enables them to be inmnovative and able to deliver solutions. Larger companies cannot be so agile.
Some large companies are reacting to the realisation that there are so many advantages for the small business. They are developing labs that are designed for faster reactions to changes in the market place. It’s really the only way that they can see the same type of successes that are available to small businesses.
Being a small business means greater opportunities and that’s something that I’m thankful for every day, more so since the freelance economy got underway. I truly enjoy working for myself, choosing my own hours and helping my small business clients to grow and expand.