The many benefits of being a small business

Jürg Widmer Probst

The many benefits of being a small business

Jürg Widmer Probst - benefits of being small business

Growth is good, right? It’s the whole reason why you’re in business. To sell more stuff, to get more customers, to take on more employees: to get bigger.

Maybe this is the case for you, or maybe not. Many business owners recognise that actually there are some big advantages to keeping things small scale. We’re going to discuss just a few of the benefits of being a small business here.

1. Fewer employees means fewer headaches

People are complicated. And when you gather a lot of them together, and put them in a high pressure environment like a workplace, things can get even more complex.

If you are managing the growth of your company correctly, then you will probably already created a strong vision that inspires and attracts the very best people. But this is far from an exact science. One person’s idea of what you’re trying to achieve as a business can be very different from another’s. And of course, this can be where the magic often happens, as different personalities and approaches rub together to generate a creative spark.

That’s the ideal scenario. But often, entrepreneurs find that there’s a happy medium in terms of team size. This is the sweet spot where the team has just the right number of people, who are all pulling together, inspired by the same vision. Finding perfect size is your job as a leader.

2.Greater agility is one of the big benefits of being a small business

‘Agility’ is a word we hear a lot in business today. Technology has shaped a business environment that now demands an instant response from companies to the demands of their customers. More than ever before, companies need to be quick on their feet in the way they operate.

Big companies find this hard to do. When you have a disparate teams spread over a wide geographical area, it’s hard to move quickly. Systems and processes are more complex, with more sign offs and more egos involved. It is harder to form meaningful relationships within the business.

So today, we often see how big companies try to re-create the kind of culture you already have in your small one. For a multi-national, software like Yammer might try to replace the kind of useful chats about projects that your teams have face-to-face over a coffee.

But for us, there is no competition. In a world where big companies are trying to behave like small ones, your small business is the real deal. Use this scale to your advantage.

3. Small businesses keep things personal

As an entrepreneur, keeping your business on the small side means that you’re more likely to be able to keep closer to it. This isn’t always a good thing, of course. Sometimes, the secret to success in business is knowing when to let other, more talented people pick up the responsibility for certain tasks. It then frees you up to do the stuff you’re really good at.

But the point still stands. When you run a small business, its success or failure is far more personal to you than when it grows to a larger scale. Your employees feel this: your commitment and passion for the project will hopefully inspire them too.

And of course, when you’re a small company, your customers will enjoy this personal touch too. In business today, a high quality, authentic and personal service experience makes all the difference when it comes to brand loyalty. When your customers get the sense that you know them and their needs personally, they will come back for more, again and again.

Once again, creating this kind of authentic experience is something that large companies are desperately trying to replicate, not least via technology.

As a small business, you can do all of this for real.


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