How To Run Your Small Business With the Tools of a Larger Business
A small business can feel like it is at a disadvantage when trying to compete with a larger business. However, small businesses have many advantages over larger businesses, including easy communication, more personal business relationships, more loyal employees, and less overhead. For the advantages that a big business does have, these are easily overcome. Here are seven tips to help your small business gain the competitive edge often seen by larger businesses.
1. Digital Meeting Space
One thing larger businesses are able to attain is better technology. They are always at the forefront of the latest trends in digital apps, software and hardware. They’re also more likely to create business relationships with the utilization of technology through digital meetings over thousands of miles and even continents.
Fortunately, these tools are available to small business as well, though often under-utilized. By incorporating the use of a digital platform such as Skype or Zoom, a small business can create relationships with other business regardless of the geographical distance. Many of these platforms also offer extra tools such as whiteboards, conferencing abilities and meeting invitations.
If your business isn’t utilizing these tools, your business isn’t getting the reach it could. Your business is going to get to a final growth stage if you remain inside your community. Start reaching further to help your business grow.
2. Shipping Accounts
Having a shipping account saves a business money. If you don’t have a shipping account, your paying too much. As your shipments grow, you save more money. Larger companies always take advantage of shipping discounts and the bigger the business is, they more the save in volume.
Different carriers will provide different benefits. Get to know what they can offer your business. Utilizing these carriers can also make shipping easier, as many offer pick up at your business location.
3. Outsource Some of Your Work
Larger corporations have so many departments that your small business can’t afford. They have an HR department, a marketing department, a facilities department and a janitorial department.
While your business doesn’t have these departments in-house, you can outsource every one of these jobs. While you may not yet have need for a full-time HR department or marketing department, there are businesses who will provide those services to your company for a fee. That fee is much more affordable than employing a department.
4. Update Your Business Plan Every Year
When you started your business, you created a business plan. Do you refer to that business plan now? If you don’t, you should. That business plan should continue to be your roadmap to success. Not only should you keep a copy, but your employees should have copies as well, so everyone is moving toward the same goals.
A business plan is an evolving document. You should update it every year with new goals. Your goals for this year aren’t going to exactly match your goals for next year. Knowing what those goals are will make you more likely to reach them.
5. Set Dates To Meet Goals
Just setting goals isn’t enough. Your goals need to have dates. Set realistic dates so you aren’t setting your company up for failure. You goal should have steps along the way. Set dates for those steps. This will keep you focused on making progress and achieving your final goal.
Large corporations always have goals and deadlines for those goals. If everyone just showed up to work and did what they needed to get through the day, the business would be a track to nowhere.
6. Provide Extra Training for Employees
When you onboarded your employees, you had to provide some type of training to familiarize them with your company. It may not have felt official, but still, it happened. Hopefully after that training they felt they could perform their duties with minimal assistance.
One goal of your business should always be to enhance the performance, abilities and growth of your employees. When you help them grow in their jobs, you are giving them an extra step toward success. Investing in career development always ends up benefiting the business who provided for that growth.
While you may not have a training staff, this is another area that can be outsourced. Watch for upcoming seminars. Even if they aren’t in your own city, sending your employees out for training is a nice reward to show them you believe in their abilities.
7. Get a Digital Switchboard
No matter how small your business is, even if you work from home, a desktop phone app. can give others calling in the impression your company is large. With this type of app, you can ring in another employee, no matter what their location, and you can even transfer calls to them. This tool allows for your business to streamline its communications activities without having to invest in a large physical phone system.
Look at other types of software that offer your business equally beneficial abilities. If your in sales, look at CRM software. If you’re in manufacturing, look for production and inventory management software. These types of systems are extra think tanks for your business.
The ways in which your small business can operate in equal capacity to a larger business are nearly limitless. Be creative as you search for other ways that allow you to compete with large corporations. Hopefully this list inspired you with other ideas to help you move your company forward and into greater growth.