There are a number of things large companies can do that small companies have trouble replicating, due to economies of scale, and available resources.
What small business CAN do is all the little things that capitalize on the shorter “distances” between the owner and its customers.
Small Ball For Business
Small ball is the name applied to a particular baseball strategy that involves doing all the little things better than other teams that may have more talented powerful star players.
Teams that focus on the basics – bunting, fielding, running the bases – what we usually call fundamentals, can compete against teams that rely on star power – home run hitters, and raw talent.
The Key Principle Applied To Business
Applying small ball to business means looking at the areas where you CAN complete and where it doesn’t take a large amount of cash, or hugeness, to succeed.
By capitalizing on what small businesses do best, and large businesses struggle with, you can create success that large companies simply can’t compete with.
Size does make a difference. Large businesses have abilities and “disabilities” as do small ones.
Small ball means capitalizing on the weaknesses of your larger competitors, while exceeding them by focusing on your strengths.
Various Small Ball Areas
Personality and Passion
Small businesses have a much easier time conveying to their customers, a unique, and hopefully welcome personality. Also, since owners tend to start businesses around things they love, it’s easier to convey a sense of passion to customers, and THAT is attractive.
It’s often the case that large businesses have so many staff, and that staff usually lacks knowledge about the products and services they provide. When was the last time you tried to get advice from a Walmart staff member? Right.
Not only does the owner have that knowledge, but its his or her job to convey that knowledge to staff, and that can be done more easily in small companies, where the owner has more direct ongoing ability to teach and coach.
Ability To Create And Be A Part Of The Community
Small business owners are in much better positions to both create communities around the topics their businesses deal with, and they have far more ability to work with the community they are part of. It’s true that big businesses can do this, but their participation almost never involves senior staff.
Again, the CEO of any large company doesn’t often pop in to a local community event. Small business owners can.
Flexible Dealings With Customers
Large companies use policies and rules to ensure there is some level of consistency when serving customers, and they also tend to limit the degree of discretionary decision making on the part of staff.
With an active owner of a small business serving clients and customers, there’s far more flexibility. The owner, and well trained staff, can treat every interaction with a client as unique, and flex to the circumstances, something large companies just can’t do.
Partnering With Other Businesses And Organizations
Small businesses have the ability to work together in very informal ways to cross-promote, support each other, cross-refer, etc. Even when two small businesses provide similar services or products, there’s usually a way to capitalize on the individual strengths of each business.
Large companies don’t partner well, and any agreements tend to be formal.
Are There More SmallBall Areas?
Yes, there are. Some of those will be specific to your business, and what it does well, and not so well.
Again, the principle is to find those areas where you have natural advantages because you are small, and capitalize on them.
We’ll continue to cover some of these in more depth, explaining how small businesses can capitalize without spending more money.