Running a small business can be exceedingly difficult. You don’t have the resources of the big national corporate chains but still have to directly compete with them regardless. This can be one of the most frustrating aspects of being an entrepreneur.

However, what you should be aware of is that some of the reasons why corporations are successful are because of business philosophies and systems that can be applied to a company of any size. There is actually a lot you can learn as a small business owner from large corporations that you can implement directly into your business model. Doing so can increase efficiency and profits. Below are a few examples.

Organizational Culture Matters

One thing large corporations try to instill in their businesses is the correct organizational culture. Organizational culture can be defined as the values and beliefs that are shared among all the people in that organization and help determine how the business is run and how people within the organization are expected to behave. Most often, this is reflected in the mission statement of the business which may describe things such as providing an excellent product and always pleasing the customer.

You should do the same and make sure your company also has a mission statement that defines your aspirations for the culture you want to see exhibited in your business. Manage your business with these goals in mind. Try to make sure your culture remains a positive and productive one centered on things like high quality, cleanliness, excellent service and high ethical standards. There are many benefits to having a healthy organizational culture. You could lower employee turnover by as much as 34.5 percent.

A Production System Is Needed to Control Quality

Think about all the national corporate chains that exist for different products. Perhaps the most famous are fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King. Despite the 36,899 locations McDonald’s has and the 16,767locations Burger King has, one thing unites them all. They aim to recreate the exact same product at all locations. The Big Mac or Whopper should be the same whether you purchase one in New York City, Iowa City or Manila.

The reason why the Big Mac or Whopper is the same at different locations is because these fast food chains have amazing supply chain structure and trust. By devising a system that dictates exactly what ingredients should be used, how the meat should be cooked and how the sandwiches should be constructed, the product is always the same. It’s this strict adherence to a system for creating a product that has allowed many companies to expand into huge corporate giants. All companies, large and small, should have a system for how products should be created with exact specifications so the customer always receives the same product with the same exact high level of quality. Ensuring that you have a systematic supply chain process and reliable partners that you work with will dramatically help to ensure quality and efficiency.

A Big Data Strategy Can Increase Efficiency

One more recent development in the world of business that huge corporations have certainly latched onto is big data. Many small business owners may find big data to be a confusing corporate buzzword, but it is extremely important to understand. If you are able to record a lot of data regarding financial transactions, customers, business processes and more, you can later go back and analyze that data to help you plan business strategy. Big data involves the collection, grouping, and analyzing of important data.

Once data is gathered, analytics can do amazing things like forecast future sales and product demand. For this reason, over half of companies have invested in big data strategies. However, small businesses don’t have to be left out. You can invest in an enterprise data catalog and other software needed for a big data strategy and apply it to your much smaller operation. As your companies data is collected and analyzed, you will have a clear view of what is happening in your company. You might learn that your process can be more efficient or that you need to increase your quality assurance standards.

Small businesses don’t have many of the advantages that huge corporations do. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can learn from the huge corporate chains. In fact, there are corporate philosophies and systems you can integrate into a business of any size. They can increase quality, efficiency and your profits. Applying these large corporations’ cultures and strategies will help you to rise to the top of your industry.


by: Dennis Hung