It's no secret small businesses have an advantage
Small businesses have an advantage that can really help them survive, and even thrive, in these challenging times. That advantage is flexibility. Huge corporations, which operate much like the huge cruise ship QE2, are impossible to turn on a dime. Small businesses can make decisions and implement changes necessary in fluid conditions. A small business owner can review the business plan and quickly decide a new course to steer the ship of business.
Small businesses can seek h
elp from supporters, friends, family, and even other small business owners. Small business owners have closer connections with their customers, making it easier to talk and ask for their ideas. It's also an opportunity to sell existing customers new products or services.
Other advantages of small businesses include an ability to offer exceptional customer service (they have a smaller number of employees to train) and the ability to use networking opportunities. Who isn't impressed when the business owner greets you, the potential customer, by name? A small business owner can use these times to reach out to former customers and rebuild a relationship. Unlike big business which requires formal approval processes for decisions, the small business can offer special sales pricing or incentives quickly and efficiently. A small business can be innovative and entrepreneurial in packaging their services and products. They can beat the larger businesses to the market with new ideas.
Whether in business or in our personal lives, we can spend a lot of time and energy lamenting the downturn in the economy. Or we can look for ways to streamline our operations and run a tight ship when it comes to our budgets. Practicing "back to the wall" management can be exciting and can refocus our efforts like no other situation can. In good times we all tend to get a little plump and lazy. When times are good, it's easy to add people, to get fancy, and to assume that the ride will continue to be smooth. When times get tough, successful businesses (and successful families) take a critical look at what they are doing, what needs are essential, and how to get the most of the dollars available.