While being a small business “fish” among the larger corporate “whales” has its challenges, there are some benefits that you can really make work to your advantage. One major advantage that your small business has over the big fish is flexibility. Those large corporations have all kinds of red tape, bureaucracy and regulations that can make their business much more rigid and even downright inflexible. So, here are a few ways to make flexibility work for your small business:
(1) Flexibility with Staff
Big corporations and larger businesses have a full slate of rules and regulations regarding what particular employees can and can’t do. For a lot of people, this rigidity can be very stifling and even frustrating if they have to go through a huge chain of higher ups for every little decision that they have to make. This is where your small business has a big advantage, as you have the flexibility to empower your employees to make more of their own choices. In return, your staff will feel a bigger sense of ownership, importance and contentment in working for your company.
And you can even use small business adaptability to offer your staff more flexible work schedules, break times and even possibly work-from-home options (which, as an extra bonus, can reduce your need for an office and lower your overhead!). You also have more adaptability in hiring (and firing!), as these processes can be extra burdensome in larger corporate structures. Your small business will be better able to adapt to changing work environments and hire the right people.
(2) Adjustability with Reactions
Your small business is much more nimble than your larger counterparts and thus, your reaction time is infinitely faster. You can quickly take advantage of current events by tweaking your offerings and marketing around hot topics while they are still hot.
The same is true for new trends and new technologies. Without having to go through all of that red tape, your turnaround time is much faster, so you can get your message and offerings out in front of your larger competition. You can more efficiently meet the current expectations of the rapidly changing marketplace and improve your bottom line in the process.
(3) Adaptability with Options
Another big arena for small business adjustability is allowing for more flexibility with choices. This includes everything from different options for your products or services all the way down to how much you charge and how you get paid. For example, as a small business, you can tailor your service offerings to each individual customer or client. This level of adaptability gives you a huge advantage over a larger, less flexible company.
You can also vary your pricing structure based on a particular customer’s needs. You can even barter- exchange your offerings with that of a service provider or client. All of this would be extremely difficult or not allowed at all within the confines of a larger corporate structure.
What other tips do you have for using flexibility in business? Please share them below.
Thanks to Janet Christy of Leverage & Development, LLC., Miriam Silverberg , John Di Frances of DI FRANCES & ASSOCIATES, LLC., and Rosanne Dausilio, PhD of Human Technologies Global Inc. for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.