The business world is a rapidly evolving place. In this new territory, small companies are not as frequently crushed underfoot by massive corporate ambition – although that has not been completely done away with. The businesses that are able to build quickly and expand their customer base are now more equipped to handle competition from their larger counterparts. How is this possible? Through a fresh mindset that allows small businesses to embrace new technology and different ways of thinking about business.
It is still a competitive world, even if it's a new one. Small companies have to stay ahead of the curve, keep on the lookout for different niches to serve and new technological platforms that could give them a leg up on their rivals.
Outdated companies fall by the wayside
This statement is true of big, small or medium companies. Eventually, old technologies will weigh on an organization – competitors will capitalize on better communications, faster processing and easier use. These late adopters will frustrate their clientele and lose business to more streamlined, technologically-capable companies.
According to IT Pro Portal, the businesses that are positioned to adapt to changing technology and an increasingly updated consumer base are best suited for survival. These organizations must focus on "speed, learning, unlearning and flexibility," according to the news source.
More and more, technology allows these rising players to have the same effect as much larger companies. There are a few burgeoning platforms that provide the most leverage:
- Mobile technology: Both as a product and a tool, mobile apps and smart phones level the playing field for many companies. Two people in an apartment can run a successful app-building enterprise because the need for physical real estate is largely a thing of the past. Plus, employees can now do business from anywhere Internet access is offered, reducing the need for a traditional office.
- Voice over Internet Protocol: Small companies can now reach clients across the world without paying crippling international and long-distance calling fees. Through Internet-calling rather than traditional phone services, these businesses will save money and gain better access to customers wherever they are.
- Insightful data: The ability to analyze business data has grown exceedingly sophisticated, allowing organizations to determine where they make the most money, which markets are better than others and which products are not carrying their weight. That way, companies can focus on their strengths and limit their weaknesses.
Carving out a niche
One of the benefits a small company has is the ability to determine a specific market and clientele to serve – and focus its entire enterprise on meeting those people's needs. Large businesses don't have the same maneuverability, according to Wired.
For example, a new startup called Aspiration is based on serving middle-class investors who do not have their needs met by the huge investment firms on Wall Street. Aspiration's founder Andrei Cherny aims to give investment opportunities to folks who fall outside the super-wealthy upper class.
"There's this tale of two cities when it comes to investments," Cherny says. "The very richest people in the country have a series of large investment banks, hedge funds, private equity shops that are all geared around creating investment options for multimillionaires. They do a good job for those people, but there's very, very little that is analogous for everybody else."
Cherny's company is positioned to succeed because he found a corner of the market to serve. Plus, the low cost of providing Internet-based financial services allows Aspiration to turn a profit.
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