We’ve all heard the saying, “Bigger is better.” Or is it?

In relation to companies, big has mattered. Big companies are associated with wealthy Fortune 500 conglomerates where value can be added due to large numbers of employees making functions more efficient. Such economies of scale made sense for growth’s sake. Small startups were traditionally always encouraged to get big quickly, primarily because large companies can go public and acquire more capital. Fancy stuff.

Yet, interestingly enough, small businesses are the backbone of the economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration says that small businesses create two of every three new jobs, produce 39% of the gross national product, and invent more than half the nation’s technological innovation. Simply because you operate a small company doesn’t mean you are unimportant.

Your contribution to your country’s economy is huge.

Consider, for example, www.craigslist.org, the popular classifieds site, which employs only 18 individuals. Some say it is the fourth most visited Web site. Wouldn’t you say that small is having a big success?

Most likely, a shift in strategic thinking is prompting these new perspectives. Seth Godin’s book, “Small is the New Big,” posits that small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big. Godin emphasizes similar concepts with strong perspective. For instance, Godin posits that success is unhealthy as it seduces companies to gravitate to the mean, and lose the edge that got them to success in the first place.

If you’re a small business ready to take action and make the most of your business, there are ways to think big that can potentially render larger benefits. One successful strategy is focusing first on the advantages of being a small business and leveraging those advantages for continued growth and competitive differentiation.

Small Business Has Its “Big” Advantages

1. Small businesses can actually deliver personal customer attention
Because you actually know your customers, you can provide personal attention more efficiently and effectively. The phrase, “But I’ve been doing business with this company since 1981,” truly means something to a small business. This is a tremendously vital advantage to being small. Not only can you sincerely address their concerns or customer service questions, you also have the ability to enroll your best customers as partners in your business by proactively asking for their product or service ideas or enlist them in “beta” offerings before you roll out new products. Leverage this asset well, and you’re automatically breeding stronger, long-term customer loyalty.

2. Small businesses have the freedom to innovate
Without being strapped by stringent shareholder expectations, small businesses have the flexibility and oftentimes expectation to innovate. They learn to be risk takers and innovators. In this way, the potential to quickly launch a potentially ground-breaking produce is much more likely for a small company that is thinking big.

3. Small businesses can change paths quickly
While larger businesses might shy away from change, small businesses know that their ability to make rapid decisions and implement course corrections is their key to success. This agility is actually a business asset; with it, companies can easily respond to market changes in order to maximize their presence, offering or customer base.

The advantages list on. The key is to not be fooled into thinking that small businesses don’t have leverage points they do. And they always will.

Also be sure to check out CNN’s latest survey about small businesses the results may surprise you! http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/29/smbusiness/salary_survey/index.htm?postversion=2007012911

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