Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Small businesses have some advantages over larger scale organizations but there are four specific things small businesses should be copying early on.
- They are built to last
It’s easy to view large organizations as always being offensive, but more often larger organizations are defensive. They grow because they need to protect their market share and have the means to do so. They make profits because shareholders expect good returns. Large organizations have the ability to standardize everything from workplace safety and employee health to customer service. You should be creating those same foundations for your small business particularly early on.
- They delegate
As a small business owner, you are probably used to doing everything yourself or maybe even micromanaging your staff. Larger organizations excel at delegation because they hire people who can take ownership of the necessary tasks. In some cases there is a CEO, then a team of directors below them, each responsible for an aspect of the firm followed by office department heads and all kinds of operations team positions. Everyone has a place and understands exactly what they need to do in clear terms. It’s something that all small business owners can understand a little more.
- They understand the numbers
Large organizations understand everything is a cost and opportunity. Not everyone is an accountant, so when it comes to small business, it might be hard for you to get a grip on where every penny is going and what opportunities there are for making changes. For example, if you are a small ecommerce business, make sure you know exactly what is in your inventory and have a plan for tracking all items. This case study about tdp textiles highlights the big impact watching those numbers can have on a business. It’s not just your inventory. It’s the logistics costs, staff expenses, and even the amount of fuel you use for a vehicle every day. If you watch monitor (or have someone monitoring) those numbers, it will be far easier to get your costs down.
- They hire the right people
Finally, large organizations take a lot of time to make sure they hire the right people. It’s a route that your small business should take, too. Forget about qualifications and credentials – they are just the starting point. Instead, look at a candidate’s interest in your business, and desire to do their best. You should end up employees who will help you drive your business to the next level, rather than someone who looks good on paper but doesn’t perform to the expected level.