SMBs: Do More With Fewer Resources
Businesses rely a lot of technology and online communications. Small business owners sometimes can’t afford the luxury of company-wide messaging platforms and other amenities that make work and life “easier” and better organized
Some companies wouldn’t be able to function if certain platforms, like Slack, went down. If Google crashed, many people would be out of work, resources, everything. I would probably flunk out of school. A permanent Google outage would greatly affect my job.
Without the use of a battery backup, major storms could affect the servers of big businesses, making them unable to get their servers up and running.
If your office lost power today, would you still be able to conduct business? With payment networks the way they are, any loss of power could create chaos. It happens all the time. But what about internally? Would your team still be able to communicate and would work continue behind the scenes?
The trick to keep SMBs running effectively and independently is to rely on fewer resources. For small business owners, disruptions are easier to deal with due to the lower number of staff to communicate with. Less is more to keep free of complications.
Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms are common in workspaces. They allow employees to exercise teamwork, develop healthy work relationships, express frustrations, clarify issues, and post shout-outs. These platforms are very effective, especially when some employees might not be in the same workplace, whether they’re traveling, working remotely or in different cities or offices. Online communications can create a friendlier and more open team environment.
Your business can stay connected using free or low budget social media platforms like Facebook (Messenger or group). A bad network or power outage takes away your company’s voice. Social media platforms allow you to effectively and affordably (free!) connect with your employees and consumers. You don’t need any fancy software or devices to keep business moving.
The Internet of Things can make maintaining communications easier. For small businesses, technology can make things run smoothly. Channels, such as your website, mobile app, online store, and social pages should all be connected so there’s always a way to stay in contact and keep running. Devices are everywhere so take advantage.
One huge issue affecting small businesses is they must confront a comparable amount of IT security threats that big businesses deal with, but with fewer resources. IT is a tricky trade and can be expensive to staff. It’s one reason trying to do more with less is difficult, and might be an area that your business will have to invest in. However, it’s not just the price and specialization of the job, it can also be a struggle to find talent. For this reason, SMBs are often more vulnerable to cyberattacks. If your team lacks the skills, invest in an IT professional or check out these tips.
Business Environment & Culture
Your small business works effectively because of its size. Your staff is like a family. You probably have regular customers and know some of their life events. You might be involved in community events. Your name means something based on what you provide to your community. You can’t get the same authentic B2C relationships with big businesses.
Sometimes I go camping and attempt to be a minimalist, just to make myself suffer for no apparent reason. My family would prefer to pack an electric heater, generator, blow-up mattresses, torch, bear-skin carpet, and an antique flower-patterned vase.
Convenience is pricy, and I’m not sure I’d want the luxury if I could afford it. It takes away from the connection. When you’re trying to be one with nature (not snakes), it’s a lot like trying to connect with customers and employees. You need to be there, involved, getting your “hands dirty.” Did that translate over? It’s just an expression.
Small Business Neighbors
Form relationships within your local business community. Building a good rep with those around you creates a lot of perks. Keep your friends close and your business neighbors even closer. B2B connections show that you’re a community player.
You can learn, buy, and profit from your small business neighbors. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a community to develop a startup. That seems like a no brainer, but business relationships are often overlooked or taken for granted. Small operations bring everyone closer.
The big players can’t compare to small business customer service tactics. SMBs have the ability to get personal, giving them an advantage when it comes to customer care. That’s why the culture your business expresses is essential. Your business’ ability to draw in, welcome, relate to, and retain customers relies on the environment that you and your employees help build.
If you’re direct with your customer base, you’ll see fewer complications.
The intimacy of your business might just be your strongest marketing technique. The edge to close client relationships is clarity and accountability. There is no fine print, just friendly business.
Communication platforms like Slack offer numerous benefits when it comes to employee collaboration. These platforms make it easy for employees (maybe especially so for those who are millennials) to communicate with their team members. It helps with remembering names (or not having to) and saves time and frustration, as you don’t have to locate a person to get an answer. Plus, items can be shared instantly. Slack is an effective communicator and many companies would suffer without it. Especially after relying on it for some time.
What about close quarters? Maybe working in a SMB, always with the same team, has affected you with cabin fever. Probably not. Your staff is a mosaic of wonderful characters that help project the dream image of your business. And how did they get to be that way? Most likely from your passion, instruction, and close attention. Your team is not a conveyor system, taking turns stamping, clanging, and making all sorts of unholy noises. Your team consists of visible personalities all working well together.
It’s about communication and team management. While both big and small businesses can benefit from these two key skills, they use them very differently. Your small business doesn’t have to function like a machine, nor does it need to rely on machines in order to be successful.
As a team leader, you should set goals and assign roles to enhance communication. Different roles means delegation. Make sure you can trust positions to certain staff members. This will help with accountability and save on miscommunications.
As a small business owner, you don’t need to compete with the big guys. It’s not even reasonable to compare your business with big businesses. You have a unique set of skills that they can’t match. Make the best with what you have.