Starting a small business is not a small challenge. There are few funding sources for getting started, and even if you manage to get the finance, the constraints of a low budget always stand between you and your hope for success. Then making a name in the market is a Herculean task, and again it is not less than a struggle to attract strong talents. Tremendous planning is required at every step, and yet still after that a downfall can happen very quickly.
But in contrast, there are a number benefits. Unlike a big business, you're quick to respond to problems -- there is flexibility in making decisions, and scope for easy communication. Rules can be bent and directions can be changed at your will. You can make quick moves to adapt to new market trends, and adjust your policies as you see fit. Speed and agility are the key weapons of a small business.
Do you make the best of the strengths you have as a small business?
First of all, you're in a better position to give your customers personalized services -- you have that time and opportunity to make the extra effort to know the problems of your customers -- exactly what they're looking for, and their likes and dislikes. Large businesses can't do this due to their volume and nature of business, but you can, and you should. Letting your customers know that you care about them -- their wants, needs and preferences -- can provide your business with more loyal, happy customers, and help you build a solid bottom line.
Being small can benefit in another way -- you can be extra-responsive to customers, to changes in the market -- you can ride the changes. In large companies, it is very difficult to take decisions fast due to their big size and large-scale operation. In addition, their decisions must go through layers of bureaucracy before they get approved. But as a small business you need not worry about such problems. At your small business, decisions can be taken fast, policies can be changed frequently, and experiments can be undertaken as you wish.
Small businesses also have an innovation advantage. It's easier for them to be responsive, flexible and open to experimentation, and this, combined with their intimate knowledge of their customers, offers a great springboard for innovation. Also, as a small business, you don't have the pressure of strict deadlines that large businesses usually have to deal with. You can take your time while trying to invent a new product or solution.
Being an SME is not all that bad, but a blessing in many ways. So why should you lament the size of your business? Embrace your smallness and get away with the opportunities that your big brothers can't. Just don't let things happen by themselves -- it requires unlocking your inner strength as a small business. And spare no effort in taking advantage of everything that your size has to offer.