Running a small business and a large corporation is definitely not the same. Everything is different – from the way you look at revenue and cash flow to the way you handle marketing and HR. That being said, there are some big company practices that small businesses can definitely learn from and they are our topic for the day.
1. Always Hire Smartly
Due to their nature, small businesses often have to hire people in a hurry or out of a necessity and they sometimes skip the due process, so to say. In essence, a large number of SMBs do not have the time to spend on proper hiring, which can be a huge problem considering how high the costs of employee turnover are.
Large corporations have a standardized hiring process and while it is usually established to prevent any biased behavior, it is also a great tool to ensure that the most compatible candidates are hired every single time.
An SMB will rarely be able to replicate such a comprehensive and structured process, but this does not mean they should not give it a go. They should draw up hiring policies and they should know where to look and how to attract the candidates. There are other things that should be standardized – such as the job ad writing process, the initial candidate screening as well as the interview process. Last but not the least, SMBs should be smart about their onboarding processes.
2. Gauge Your Customers
If there is one thing big corporations know how to do, it is market research. Very rarely will you hear about a company break into a new market only to find out that there is no one there who is interested in their products. More often than not, this will be cause by something other than market research.
Smaller companies and especially startups can sometimes rush into markets and misunderstand what their customers want or how much they want to pay for it. The good news is that the new technologies have made market research more affordable and accessible to SMBs.
For instance, many market research companies will offer SMB-tailored services nowadays. Moreover, online paid surveys can be used to find out what people think about certain products or ideas. On top of all that, business analytics tools are also becoming cheaper with every hour that passes and SMBs are getting in on that as well.
3. Protect Your Reputation
In the world of business, reputation truly is everything and it takes years to come back from a setback that may have been caused by a momentary lapse of reason. Large corporations know this and they employ entire teams and outside companies that do nothing but maintain their reputability around the world.
For SMBs, this is not a possibility, but there is still much to be said for staying smart about certain things and keeping the company’s reputation untarnished.
Everything will start with honoring one’s deals and making sure no customer is feeling left out to dry for whatever the reason. It will also include going the extra mile for the most loyal customers, providing the best possible customer support and working out any issues in record time.
Nowadays, reputation management will also include the internet, since an ever-growing number of customers and potential customers are resorting to web-based information to make decisions on their purchases and B2B partners.
4. Be Vigilant About Legal Stuff
Every large corporation in the world has a legal department and in some cases, these departments are the hardest working parts of the operation. All joking side, big companies know how important it is to stay on top of their legal stuff and ensure that no legal slip up is jeopardizing their existence.
SMBs do not have to go as far as spending half of their budget on lawyers, but staying vigilant about the legal matters that surround running a business is always a good idea.
This will start with adhering all the necessary laws and regulations, obtaining every single license that the government asks for and more. This will also include establishing a number of policies in a company, making sure the business is safeguarded from employee mistakes and unforeseen events. When dealing with employees, it is also very important to keep in mind the laws that pertain to this area of business.
The last thing an SMB needs is a lawsuit that will be a drain on the resources and on the people who run or work for it.
Taking a few hints from the biggest players can definitely help small businesses operate more efficiently and intelligently.
In the end, that is what it’s all about.