How can small businesses look up to bigger corporations?
There are a lot of big brands I look up too. In fact, that's why I became passionate about entering entrepreneurship. I want my business model to be a mirror of theirs. Is that possible to do at a smaller scale? What key things can startups take away from big brands and apply to their own business?
I have compared (and still do) how other brands/ companies work in our line of business. That always reveals interesting information and gives an answer about how it feels to be a customer of those companies. If it appeals, make use of it.
When you're passionate about something it probably has to do with your ideas about doing business. I believe it's good to stay close to those ideas and try to develop them. This can be a way to let grow your company.
What exactly about big brands made you so passionate about entrepreneurship Morgan? Their size, success, story, profits, products or services, ...If there is one thing I learned from successful big brands, it is to make sure clients or customers can rely on the quality of the product/service to be each and every time up to the same *hopefully high* standard. If you know you cannot deliver this, it might be better not to offer the product and/or service at all. But to be honest, I think it would be more interesting to find out what your USP is as a small business owner as compared to the big brands ...
Good to benchmark and I always encourage companies to benchmark successful large companies or brands.
However we need to realize that to reach that "big" stage, you need to start from small.
Startup phase is inevitable if you start from zero, or you may consider to buy an exiting grown company (like how people takeover companies).
So observe what you should do during Starup stage, you may align your vision to the benchmark companies, however you must not run like them during startup stage. Organic grow needs time to shape your business and eventually when you turn bigger, your company will be a unique one even though you had benchmark some big companies. I.e. we try to shape our company toward what we benchmark but not copy 100% of benchmark.
As a startup ...try to sell, sell, sell. The more you can sell the more chance you can shape your business better. Why? Selling not only essential for survival, it also the only channel that open the communication between you and your customers. - very important for a Startup.
I focus on generating value for the client, and doing my job with great passion and humility, as well as high quality with short delivery time. That has generated a "bush radio", as we say in Finland - and the bush radio carries a long way in marketing.
Copying is another thing I do, and urge everybody else to do. Bigger companies have used a lot of time and money for something. With this I mean to copy the ideas from here and there, mix them to fit in your own business. Direct copying of something is cheap and lame ;)
I think the biggest take-away to me is we all know all big brands started small. So in a larger sense we need to learn from their growth phase rather than the matured business situation.
Second thing would be know that business is different from family or personal matters and quite often in initial phases there could be conflicts in managing business interests. it would be a great learning to know how this was managed
Welcome to the entrepreneurship world Morgan! As a startup founder, I do love to see big startups and listen to their successful story, but I can't fully adapt / mirror their business model.
Take a step back to sit and focus on your startup, then refer to the giants:
(1) The business purpose -- what's the problem you would like to answer? or what kind of opportunity you found that others not yet do? Venture Capitals or Investors would love to hear the purpose behind you jumpstart your business.
(refer to the giants): All big startups have a clear message and solid answer about this.
(2) The market -- Who's your target market? what about the market size? is it profitable and scalable? While we gather this data, find as much as you can that can support your presentation.
(refer to the giants): You can refer to the big company who has the same model you would like to adapt with and gather their findings / insights as your foundation. But don't copy it directly. Most startup failed to prove their diligence on data, simply because they said, "my market size are as big as Airbnb because we do the same thing." No VC / Investors would buy that. Find your own way.
(3) Market validation - do lots of interview with your customers, find what they really NEED (not want / desire). Then you start to develop the product
(4) The product development phase - once you got the clearer picture of your customers' issue, then start develop the solution, which is your product. Even if you found lots of issue, don't make solution for all of it. Find the most irritating issue (one problem), then start building the product. In startups, we called it MVP (minimum viable product)
(refer to the giants): Facebook doesn't happen to be like this when Mark started it years ago. He simply start with comparing girls / boys among universities. That's Facebook MVP. Through times, customers' needs are upgrading. They start to asking a profile, add more picture, and goes on and on and on. If you tempted to answer ALL of your customers' issues, believe me, you will never make one. FOCUS and FOCUS.
All the best for you Morgan!
Define what you are passionate about and indentify brands that share your passion. As you begin to learn more about the brands that share your passion, you will learn some things you don't like about them as well. Focus on their positive attributes and learn from their negative attributes so your entrepreneurial venture will be all about YOU and your vision, mission and values.
What is it that you value about bigger corporations? I, personally got into entrepreneurship because I wanted to break away from the corporate structure, which I found to be lumbering and tone deaf.
As entrepreneurs, we're small and fast. We can pivot on a dime and make strategic decisions in hours where it takes corporate structures years or even decades to change course.
It's important to take stock of the benefits to being a smaller, if less funded venture. That way, we can navigate the market by making use of our best features instead of wishing things were different.
The main thing I use is the aura or "reality distortion field" that these companies create from big bucks and power advertising. You can also have that feel if you care about your business. Sometimes you can merge 2 or 3 good feelings from things like packaging, policy towards ethnicities, investment in charity etc.