When Small is Big – Agility
When you’re in small business you may pretend to be bigger than you really are. (Giving people big titles is an example). When Small is Big is when you can respond quickly.
But when you’re in big business you often pretend to be small, agile, innovative and entrepreneurial.
I have just got my hands on a copy of Seth Godin’s new book
“Small is the New Big”
I read “All Marketers are Liars” some months ago and thought it was the best marketing book ever written…but I like a story.
Now this new book is really really on the money.
I live in Balmain Village (inner city Sydney) …and there was a huge outcry when Starbucks wanted to open a store. But there was nothing council could do to stop them. But what the people do is simply not go there. They have comfy sofa’s and nice atmosphere and it is totally empty. (Except for out of towners) It can only be pride that keeps this location open. But next door is the wonderful Bertoni’s Cafe. It only has one table and a few wooden stools, so customers suffice with milk cartons – there is literally a line onto the street every single morning. To take a photo from across the street you have to argue..why would people be so uncomfortable at one place….and not frequent the comfy place. We love our Bertoni’s in Balmain!
This is the whole point about Seth’s new book.
And then small happened.
- Enron (big) got audited by Andersen (big) and failed (big). The World Trade Center was a terrorist target. Network (big) TV advertising is collapsing so fast you can hear it. American Airlines (big) is getting creamed by JetBlue (think small). Boing Boing (four people) has a readership growing a hundred times faster than the New Yorker (hundreds of people).
Big computers are silly. They use lots of power and are not nearly as more money than big companies. Today, Craigslist (eighteen employees) is the fourth most visited site
according to some measures. They are partly owned by eBay (more than four thousand employees), which hopes to stay in the same league, traffic-wise. They?re certainly not growing nearly as fast.
Small means that the founder is involved in a far greater percentage of customer interactions. Small means the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them quickly.
Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change your business model when your competition changes theirs.
Small means you can tell the truth on your blog.
Small means that you can answer e-mail from your customers.
Small means that you will outsource the boring, low-impact stuff like manufacturing and shipping and billing and packing to others while you keep all the power because you invent something that?s remarkable and
tell your story to people who want to hear it.
A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they?re good, not because they?re big. So smart, small companies are happy to hire them.
A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name.
A small venture fund doesn?t have to fund big, bad ideas in order to put their capital to work. They can make small investments in tiny companies with good ideas.
I have always considered that RedBalloon is big business in a small body…but quite frankly I am really pleased that we are just the size we are. And that because we are small we are agile and that our number one focus is listening (and responding) to our customers and that we know in our very being it is them that makes us great.
Small is beautiful Tell me about why you love being small. And here is a link to the book proving When Small is Big.