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8 Small Business Considerations That Differ From Large Enterprise

We asked small business leaders and professionals within large enterprises about their key differences from one another.

Small businesses are different from large enterprises. But just how different? What considerations should small businesses have that differ from a large enterprise? 

To get some clarity, we asked small business leaders and professionals within large enterprises about their key considerations. Here are small business considerations that differ from large enterprises.


Tech Stacks

The biggest difference between small businesses and large enterprises are the technology stacks that support the companies. For example, a small company may start off with a tool like Mailchimp to build and send email marketing campaigns. But as the company grows and the marketing needs expand, a tool like Mailchimp may no longer be the best technology solution for a large enterprise. They may “graduate” to tools that are more designed for larger companies, like Hubspot, Pardot, or Klaviyo. Small businesses should always consider their tech stack, and reevaluate their solutions as they grow to a larger company. 

Randall Smalley, Cruise America 

Succession Planning

In a small business, owners think about who will take over their company one day. Large enterprises approach succession planning from more of an organizational chart model. There’s a bigger pipeline of replacements for larger enterprises because of leaders who climb the corporate ladder. Succession planning for small businesses is much more difficult and is a consideration every owner must plan to help account for life changes. 

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Commercial Insurance

Depending on the size of the organization, some commercial insurance policies may be more pertinent to a company than others. For example, a Business Owners Insurance policy (BOP) is useful for small and medium-sized businesses because it covers all property and liabilities and typically includes business interruption insurance. But for a large enterprise, a BOP may not be the best coverage. Always consult with an insurance agent to learn about which coverages may be best for your business depending on size, industry, and more.

Vicky Franko, Insura

Timeline of Scalability

A small business has to consider the scale in which it is operating in comparison to larger enterprises. The difference in scale would appear to be a liability at first glance, but it is an opportunity in reality. Smaller businesses can be more agile in responding to customer feedback and innovating faster because there are fewer moving parts to coordinate. Embrace this! Cloud infrastructure, coupled with accelerated development approaches, creates an innovation amplifier uniquely suited for small businesses.

Lukas Ruebbelke, Briebug

Decisions Are More Personal

Considerations for a small business are much different than those of a large enterprise because the decisions made are on a more personal level. Each marketing dollar is important, and the people that a small business hires will determine just how successful the company may be on a day-to-day basis.

Josh Stomel, Turbo Finance

Hyper Focused Solutions 

When working with a small business on technology they tend to be able to make decisions faster and be more innovative. They need solutions that are very pinpointed and specific to their needs as they don’t have a ton of capital to waste on tech. Their solutions need to be innovative and customized for them. Typically large enterprises take longer to make decisions and adopt new and innovative tech that is out there. So this process may happen but will take a significant amount of time. Small businesses can also get a lot more granular with their needs to ensure they are functioning efficiently and not overbuying what they need.

Mark Smith, UAT

Customer Loyalty

The usual considerations that affect a small business differently from a large one are as follows: being unable to offer lower price points and fewer resources. These resources can be financial or technological. It is very important for a small business to find a niche that larger businesses can’t or won’t service and to establish themselves there. In this way, they can stand out and develop a loyal brand following.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

Less Cash Reserves 

Small companies are different from large ones in a few ways. In terms of advantages, small companies are usually able to make decisions faster because there is less need to consult with a large number of people. There is also a disadvantage — small companies sometimes struggle to have large cash reserves. As a result, small companies tend to fail at a faster rate when there is an economic downturn.

Bruce Harpham, Technology Marketing Consultant

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This article was originally published on 12-10-2020
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