Dear startups, you heard it here first: big companies are looking at an uncertain future when it comes to their businesses and the future of consumer trends. Startups and small businesses might feel nervous over their journeys just starting out in a world that is seemingly at capacity with existing products and services, but the truth is that the big guys are just as scared, looking ahead at a future that seems to bring about a speed of change that no one has seen before. Customers are finding new, cheaper alternatives to how they run their workplaces, and this is the new golden standard. What is the good news? This realization has just leveled the playing field: it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in the big leagues for years or you’re just an amateur player – opportunities are now equally attainable.
According to a recent study by Dell Technologies, 78% of businesses consider digital startups a threat to their business, whether now or at a future juncture. That basically means that four out of five companies are currently feeling vulnerable about the power of newcomers in the digital or technology fields, and this presents an invaluable opportunity for startups and small businesses to get their digital gears in check and charge forward without hesitation. What are some of the reasons behind big companies fearing startups or small businesses?
- Small businesses can make changes more quickly: adaptability is going to be considered the superpower of businesses in this next wave of innovation, and transitioning or training a small workforce is much easier and faster than ensuring thousands of employees are on the same page about something.
- Small companies tend to have less bureaucratic obstacles: the reality of many big companies is that whenever an executive is ready to throw their weight behind a cause or change, it’s usually a much more complicated process for them to be able to do it, when they probably have to get the majority of their leadership team on board, consult with the executive or managing board, and maybe even get shareholders’ input in some cases. For small companies, the process probably involves much less paperwork and people, and thus, they can be more agile in their quest for innovation.
- Less resistance with customers: though this isn’t a rule across the board, it’s safe to assume that smaller companies also have a smaller customer-roster than multinational businesses. If there’s a big change to be made in the front-of-house/customer-facing side, then companies can dedicate more time to getting the customers up to date about the changes in a more personalized way, and ensure there’s less resistance all along.
With this in mind, how can both sides of the equation remain equal? What are some best practices that can be put into place regardless of company size? This piece from Entrepreneur has some valuable points:
- Find the right partners: it’s a digital world, and if your current workforce or platforms aren’t on the side of automation yet, now is the time to make alliances and find the partners that will get you there. We’re right here, and our approach speaks for itself. You also need to ensure to fill your company with the right talent, but if your budget or time is limited, you can always consider staff augmentation, which can come as a benefit of choosing the right partner.
- Focus on innovation: whether you choose to innovate in “sprints” as the Entrepreneur piece suggests or you’re ready for a 360-innovation makeover, the key is to move forward with the desired plan, and not put it off any longer. Innovate today, stay sustainable for tomorrow.
- Put your customer at the center of your strategy: we always say that innovation is here to improve our lives, and when it comes to redesigning a company’s technology platform and offering, it must start with the customer’s vantage point. If your customer is your number one concern, then your innovation journey will take you in the right direction, and you will continue to earn their trust and their business.
With these strategies in mind, companies of all sizes have an equal opportunity to thrive and join the next level of business innovation. If you’re a startup, don’t let the fear of a company’s size deter you from your own strategy, because your size can be your ultimate benefit. 48% of global businesses don’t know what their industry will look like in three years, and that is the current best advantage for startups. It doesn’t matter that there’s uncertainty about where things are going, when you can adapt and move towards the next big thing quickly. If you’re ready to propel your business towards the winning side of innovation, remember to find the right partner for your employees, your customers, and your business objectives. If you think we might be that for you, let’s get in touch.