It seems nearly impossible for your West Michigan small business to compete with big business. How can you overcome hundreds of workers with million dollar budgets and investors clamoring to buy shares of their business when you might only have a handful of employees with a much, much smaller budget and you cannot give away shares of your business? There are many ways that your small business has advantages over big business despite this.
A few office furniture leaders from Haworth, Herman Miller and Trendway talked about the changing furniture industry earlier this week. These furniture manufacturers are some of the biggest businesses in West Michigan and the Grand Rapids area. Their representatives spoke about the changing work environment and the increase in the number of workers that are setting up mobile offices, working out of homes and coffee shops and those workers that travel and are working out of hotels. They also spoke about the need to adapt to industry specific markets such as healthcare and education while not losing their traditional markets.
The problem for these big businesses is they have certain needs. With all of the overhead costs and expenses, these businesses have to bring in a certain amount of income to remain viable. With all those shareholders and investors these business have, there is pressure to not only meet the demands to remain viable but also turn a decent profit so there is a return on their investment. Your small business does not have these great pressures.
These pressures also prevent these big businesses from being flexible. The leaders from these furniture manufactures were easily able to identify market needs and problems. These businesses could probably easily do research and develop products to fill these market needs and solve these problems. The issue, as they pointed out, is they cannot venture away from their traditional markets. Big business cannot move too far away from what has made them a success. Startup businesses and small businesses have the flexibility to do exactly what these big businesses cannot. Most startups and small businesses are founded on the premise of filling those needs that big business cannot.
Just because you are small does not mean you do not have big advantages. Mobility and flexibility can be huge advantages. With this advantage you still want to take precautions to protect your Grand Rapids small business or startup but you should leverage it at every point you can. Big businesses will be envious and eventually will take notice of your business because it won’t be so small anymore.
Source: “West Michigan office furniture companies seek new ways to sell product in mobile work environment” by Myron Kukla of MLive.com