- H&L Advantage
- 3500 Busch Drive
- Grandville, Michigan 49415
- (800) 581-2343
- Local: (616) 532-1012
- Fax: (616) 532-2662
Small Business Has Its Advantages
You Can Out Maneuver Your Bigger Competitors
You might not always think about this, but you wield a lot of power as a small business. It may seem like big corporations are stronger and have the advantage, but if you can harness your strength as a small business, you have an enviable advantage.
We have all probably heard the expression that small business is the backbone of our economy, and there are solid reasons why this is true.
Think about the differences between a cruise ship and a speedboat. The cruise ship can withstand much bigger storms out on the open sea, but the speedboat is faster, less expensive to operate, and much more maneuverable. The speedboat can also go places a cruise ship could never get to.
Now think about the nature of business. It is changing, and changing rapidly. As a small business, you can be much more agile and able to adapt to the changes. You can service a niche market and grow strong in that market, while a bigger company could crumble if they attempted the same feat.
One of the errors to watch out for as a small business is taking on the thinking of big business. It is your difference that makes you strong. Trying to mimic a large corporation can lead to disaster. You do need to know what it is that made the big company so powerful, just be careful that you don't end up with the same problems so many of them are facing.
You have another advantage and it is by necessity. As a small business, you must be efficient in order to survive. Small businesses typically have mastered a level of efficiency that is elusive to bigger corporations. If you discover a way to increase efficiency, you can usually implement it quickly too; it is like the difference in maneuverability between a cruise ship and a speedboat.
Technology has helped to level the playing field too. If you are not taking advantage of things like lean manufacturing, modular tooling, computerized equipment, automation, information technology, and video conferencing, you may want to consider it. For most small businesses, to not have a web site is like handing business to your competition. In many cases, gaining just a few customers through a web site will cover the costs of producing the site.
Being a small business is not without challenges. You will want to grow and reach higher. You want to keep getting better and improving. You may even cross the threshold of becoming a big business, but enjoy the process. The opportunities for small business are the best they have ever been. Don't get discouraged or listen to naysayers. Look for ways the bigger companies are providing opportunities for you. There is always something you can do better, so do the best you can.
Places for More Information
We hope the article above provided some inspiration and encouragement to focus on the “why” of operating a small business. The small business resources below are more geared toward the “how” aspect in making the most of your business. Since the issues surrounding small business are so diversified, we welcome any feedback or suggestions you can offer to help make this section more comprehensive.
- Small Business Administration - This suggestion may seem somewhat obvious, but the list of resources would not be complete without it since they offer a centralized compilation of small business resources
- Small Business Forum - No matter what type of business you're in, this forum allows you to interact with other small business owners, ask questions, gain understanding of small business issues, and maybe even establish business connections
- All Business - The name pretty much says it—if it has to do with business, you will probably find it on this site