Five Advantages Small Businesses Have Over Big Business


Small and medium sized businesses spend a lot of time trying to become big, but my experience is that there are advantages that those not-so-big businesses have.

Big often means bloated

Small businesses need to figure out how to market themselves without spending a lot of money.  But big businesses can’t afford to take the risk of doing anything that isn’t tried and true or performed by highly experienced consultants or agencies.  That comes with a big cost because big agencies have big overhead.  I once met someone from Disney at a conference and she told me that for their creative agency $100,000 was a rounding error.  Big businesses don’t think about how to be use scrappy, guerilla tactics because they don’t have to.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t work.  Dollar for dollar, they are often your best bet.

You don’t have to ask the lawyers

The largest companies in the world often have the most trouble using social media.  Social media happens in the moment.  You tweet or post on Facebook based on what’s happening in real time and you better be able to answer customers in real time as well. If someone complains about your product on Facebook and you have to go to your legal department for a response, and wait for several days to get a legalese response, that won’t cut it with the folks reading your Facebook page.

You don’t operate by committee

I once worked in a bank.  The place was literally run by committees.  Committees were established for the purpose of making decisions that took no risk; decisions that can’t get anyone fired.  Committees usually waste time and water down thinking to the lowest common denominator. The most important products of a committee are the minutes of the meetings that are written to protect (or hang) the people who made the decision.

You are smaller and closer to the ground

The top guns at big business are often far removed from the consumers or the prospects.  They may not even be in touch with the employees in their company who are in touch with these people. Yet, they are the decision makeers. Knowing your customers by listening to customer service calls, talking to them in your store or taking the first call that comes in about your service is something you are likely to do.  Even spending time with the customer facing people in your organization asking pointed questions is easy in a smaller company.

You have a sense of ownership

Owners care more than non-owners.  It’s a generalization, yes, but it tends to be true.  For most small business owners, the business is their life.  That’s a lot of skin in the game.  For the best of those businesses, the key people-and there are only a few-feel ownership of their areas as well.  Caring goes a long way in being successful.  Ask Gary Vaynerchuk.

Most businesses want to be bigger and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that.  Just remember, as you grow, that the clever, innovative, risky, flexible way you work is part of your advantage. How can you hold onto it when you get big?

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2 Responses to Five Advantages Small Businesses Have Over Big Business
  1. Melvina
    December 17, 2020 | 8:02 pm

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  2. Alma
    December 17, 2020 | 10:42 pm

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