What Big Businesses Can Learn From Small Companies
Too big to fail? Sears and Toys R Us beg to differ.
Many large corporations fail, but those that do not have some surprising things in common with smaller companies and startups.
As companies get larger, they tend to lose focus of the things that made them successful. Once they have amassed a large following and high annual profit, they believe that they are too big to fail.
Of course, as the industry continues to change, this is not the case. Large companies are caught up in maintaining the majority that they forget their initial purpose. Walking around aimlessly will eventually get you lost. Operating for the sole purpose of a profit will leave your characteristically bankrupt.
People identity with companies who have a purpose and a reason to function without that, a company is just another fish in the sea. Smaller businesses are easy to familiarize yourself with because they put more emphasis on their mission. Small companies have small clientele, so it is easier to maintain a connection with them.
Large companies are often seen as out of touch. The CEOs are hidden away in a labyrinth of hierarchy far away from the mere mortals who work for them. Being an active participant in your company is more than just making big decisions — it is about engaging with the loyal people inside your organization. These people carry out those big decisions.
Employees enjoy their work when they feel valuable. They feel valuable when they can contribute. It is not fun working for a faceless being. This might seem hard for large companies with large staff. Creating a structure that allows for open brainstorming and dialogue at all levels can easily be achieved with new technology.
Maintaining an engaged audience and workforce comes with its challenges for big business, but the major problem is a general lack of efficiency. How can a large company be inefficient? In order to grow you must have high productivity levels. If you start valuing productivity and efficiency as the number of tasks completed, then larger businesses are highly effective.
Smaller businesses have higher rates of growth. With limited resources, especially human resources, they must focus only on things that with positively affect growth. Start-ups are generally more frugal by circumstance. With restricted cash flow, they must focus activities that directly allow them to expand. It is easy for large companies to become complacent. The idea of being too big to fail has been diminished many times, but some companies have yet to learn.