All big businesses were once small businesses.
Apple started in a garage, Facebook was conceived in a dorm room and the first Walmart was a five-and-dime store in a small town in Arkansas.
But, what made them into international giants was the fact that they had big ideas. These big ideas don’t always entail disrupting the industry they’re in or reinventing the wheel; sometimes these innovative ideas have to do with how a business is run.
Here are some of the biggest, most inspiring ideas small businesses are putting into practice today.
Employ guerrilla marketing
No matter how big or niche your target market is, you need to advertise. You have to get the word out that you are in business and offer a great product, but that doesn’t come cheaply. While you can likely forget about producing the most popular commercial for the big game, for the savvy small business owner, there are myriad other opportunities.
Guerrilla marketing refers to a marketing strategy that maximizes creativity at minimal cost. These tactics often take advantage of social media platforms where companies can carry their message or engage in conversations at no cost. Local contests and fun events that engage customers and the community are just a couple of the categories that are not only inexpensive, but are highly personable in a way those big expensive ad campaigns are not.
An example of a great guerrilla marketing campaign is when, in 1999, San Francisco-based Casa Sanchez offered free lunches for life to anyone who got a tattoo of their logo. They capped the number at 50, but a decade later, in the wake of the great recession, they revived the offer, calling it a “stimulus special.”
Break out of silos
Everyone has defined roles, but many small businesses know that to stay competitive in their industry, these roles need to be flexible and collaboration needs to be prioritized. According to research, almost three out of four people surveyed say that teamwork and collaboration is “very important.”
Small businesses have a great opportunity to get workers out of their “defined roles” (or silos) and into collaborative spaces. This kind of flexibility leads to greater communication among people at all levels. It’s a simple idea with big consequences, as we’ll see in the next point.
Foster a culture of innovation.
Richard Branson once said, “Small businesses are nimble and bold and can often teach much larger companies a thing or two about innovations that can change entire industries.”
Small businesses have the advantage of being just that: small. Employees can communicate easily with leadership or with those who work on different projects or in different departments. Small businesses take advantage of their structure by allowing people to have a voice when it comes to innovating their product, their service or their operational structure. Because employees tend to work closer with leadership, they also tend to be more invested in the company. This makes the incentives for innovative thinking — and the rewards — that much higher.
Less baggage, more flexibility, greater innovation and a whole lot less red tape. These are just some of the advantages of being a small business instead of a large corporation. With creativity, small business owners can put these ideas into effect and reap big rewards.
For even more techniques you can employ in your business here are “4 Reasons Why You Need to Street Market!”