Small businesses are often valued and described through comparisons to larger corporations, with much focus given to how a SMBs can look and sound as big as massive conglomerates. However, small businesses have inherent qualities that can provide them with an advantage over larger counterparts. A recent article in The Lebanon Daily Record highlighted one area that small businesses have always had and continue to have a leg up on over larger competitors: flexibility.
“The reality is, owners must constantly look to evolve,” Steven Rogers, professor of entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, said to the source. “The business they’re in today may not be the business they’re in tomorrow.”
How Small Businesses Gain Advantage
Smaller businesses have always been more flexible, as the complex and often rigid structure of larger corporations makes flexibility more of a challenge for them. The news source outlined numerous ways that small businesses can retain flexibility as they adapt to changes in cost and competition, including looking for a niche, finding the right technology to serve multiple needs and enhancing internal communications.
“Small businesses often can spot and react more quickly to market trends,” the article stated. “If you don’t already have something in mind, the U.C. Small Business Administration suggests conducting a market survey with current and/or potential customers to uncover untapped needs. Look for areas that are being ignored by your competitors. Maybe it’s a certain feature in a product or a tool aimed at a small but passionate audience.”
The news source’s second and third points go hand in hand, and because larger businesses have the resources for receptionists, IT departments and contractors, it is necessary for small businesses to invest in and implement technology that can provide big-business looks and functionality without an associated big price tag.
An excellent communication technology option for smaller companies is AccessDirect’s hosted PBX phone system, which was designed to provide rich features that can make small businesses look like big corporations. AccessDirect’s cloud-based PBX was purposely built to include features such as voicemail, fax mail, conference calling, music on transfer, find me follow me call forwarding and auto attendant. In this way, small businesses can utilize a virtual receptionist in place of the receptionist found at larger corporations. The person on the other other end of the line receives the same experience as they would speaking with a front-desk employee.
In addition, scalability is one of the main advantages of using a cloud-based PBX from AccessDirect, allowing small businesses to adjust its plan to meet changing company needs. This means that it can maintain the higher level of flexibility it has over larger corporations, as bigger corporations typically have a more difficult time scaling communications to meet evolving demands.
As contributor Duncan Laker noted in a recent Business 2 Community article, phone hosting enables even the smallest business to use the same technology and enjoy the same functions as multinational corporations.