What small businesses do better. Use these ideas to fuel your own growth. Some are quick to focus on the negative — the fact that the mega corporations are no more, or are someplace else. But big simply isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t always better. There was a great article in Fortune.com about how small businesses thrive by doing things that big businesses aren’t good at. Size can be a double-edged sword. Big companies have squads of salesmen, huge marketing budgets and leverage at the bargaining table, their size makes these things easier.

However, size makes other activities harder and smart entrepreneurs can drive a wedge into these big-business cracks to create profitable markets for small business.

For example:

Talk across functions: Size necessitates that big businesses be split into manageable chunks. This leads to informational silos, where the various departments are too focused on their own goals – and hence miss opportunities for collaboration.

Innovate and redesign: Innovation can work better in smaller businesses because 1) an entrepreneur has stronger incentives (like $) than an large company employee, and 2), small-firm innovators rarely have to overcome resistance from internal bureaucracy favoring the status quo.

Use local information: small businesses are on the ground doing business every day and can quickly spot local opportunities and respond to them.

Listen to the customer: Instead of waiting on survey trends and focus groups, smaller firms rely on their customers to tell them what they want to buy and when there’s a problem.

Monitor quality: Big-companies have problems providing the right incentives for service employees that often results in service/product failure. Smaller companies can better provide consistent customer satisfaction.


So what can YOUR business do? The SBDC is always here to help you think through the options. We would be happy to work with you to help you outshine the competition.

Excerpt from  The Coleman Report.  See full article by at Fortune.com.