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As a small-business owner, you naturally gravitate toward a lean business model. However, you likely dream of the day when your small company will grow to a much larger size.
Thanks to their resource volume, big businesses can do more things than small businesses. They can employ more people. They generate more capital and have more influence. Still, there are many things they can’t do.
Their enormous size prevents them from doing many of the things that they could do when they were smaller. For instance, a big business often has systems in place to assure the continuity of business processes. Therefore, it can’t afford to be as innovative. After all, radical change can be disruptive.
Still, a big business can behave like a lean business machine by getting better control of its digital assets. It can provide friendlier customer service and make innovation easier. It can also become more efficient, and it can restore its reputation as a benevolent entity.
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Better Control of Digital Assets
When a business is small, managing its content is fairly straightforward. All it needs is a content management system for what it publishes on its website. But when a business gets large, lean business practices fall by the wayside. It usually spawns numerous websites. This helps to prevent overwhelming its audience with a single huge, complex, hard-to-navigate website.
However, by working with Zesty.io, a large business will have the capacity to publish to many websites from a central location. That’s because Zesty.io is a SaaS company that offers an enterprise-level content management system.
Friendlier Customer Service
When a business is small, customer service is often more personal. Customers easily develop relationships with the staff members who help them. As a business gets larger, it becomes difficult for the customer service staff to pursue relationships. The volume of customer transactions is simply too high. Although the business staff is much larger now, the customer base is about a hundredfold bigger.
However, a big company can give its customers more options to help themselves. It can employ automation and make FAQ pages available on its website. These will relieve some of the pressure on customer service employees. Another strategy is to outsource customer service needs to a third-party, like a call center. Large call centers have enough staff to handle a large number of customer calls and emails.
When a business is small, innovation is robust. There are fewer formal business processes in place. Therefore, new ideas are welcomed. Additionally, new ideas are easier to integrate into the existing business model. In other words, there is still plenty of room for change and growth.
By reducing the amount of red tape necessary to suggest new ideas, a big business can encourage brainstorming and planning. Further, it can foster the incorporation of new ideas into its existing business model.
For instance, Samsung, a $56 billion dollar company, remains remarkably innovative. That’s because they have created the Samsung C-Lab, an abbreviation for “creative laboratory.” They give employees ample resources—time, tools, and support—to become complete businesses. Then they encourage those ideas. And they do so even if it isn’t immediately clear how the new ideas will fit into Samsung’s current areas of business.
When a business is small, efficiency is a given. A small business needs to practice lean business methods. It must be efficient to survive. It can’t afford to waste time, money, talent, or any other scarce resource.
But big businesses, too, can decide to become faster at adopting cutting-edge technology and new business processes. To do so, a big business can automate many tasks that humans find tedious. Adopting the latest technological breakthroughs will also help to prune away stagnant legacy systems in favor of lean business practices.
When a business is small, it does its best to maintain a good reputation. It does so by providing its customers with honest, reliable services. Otherwise, it risks losing its small customer base.
Owners of a big corporation can decide not to take advantage of the business’s ability to get away with anything. It would be easy for a big company to do so by abusing its status as a legal person with the power of limited liability. By forgoing this privilege, a big company can regain public trust. Additionally, by becoming a good place to work, it will attract the best talent and build an even larger customer base.
Big Corporations Can Implement Lean Business Practices
In closing, it’s important to point out that a big company doesn’t have to be an inflexible dinosaur. Nor does it have to be slow to adapt to a rapidly changing world. On the contrary, it can restore many of the lean business practices and nimble abilities it enjoyed when it was a smaller business.