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What can SMEs learn from large corporations

A SME owner usually punches above his weight to get the business going and dons multiple hats – from the proprietor to CFO to CMO – to provide quality products/services and scale the company. Despite various challenges, ranging from lack of access to finance to market fluctuations, small and medium businesses remain tenacious and focused on their goal.

However, many SMEs can benefit from taking a leaf out of the large corporations’ book to succeed. Many SMEs are family-run businesses and may often be stuck in a certain thought process or management style. Turning to conglomerates and MNCs for lessons will undoubtedly prove beneficial to small businesses. Here’s how to initiate SME business transformation:

1) Invest in talent

Along with the apparent focus of any SME improving and expanding the business, it is also important for the small business owner to facilitate his and his employee’s personal and professional growth.

This does not mean focusing on the most experienced or high-profile candidates. It also means providing a conducive work culture, motivation, rewards, and work-life balance.

2) Invest in technologies

Efficiency in cost, processes, and operations for the scale-up of any small business can be facilitated by using technology. However, there are resource and budget constraints with small businesses, and hence, it may be apt to prioritize and keep the spending to a minimum. This prioritization can be based on the future of the business as also the future of technology and its potential role in scaling the business.

A good start for SMEs will be to hire a managed service provider who can cost-effectively handle all IT-related operations and then build up the technology-led support.

3) Invest in brand building

Large corporations give top priority to marketing and invest heavily not just in marketing budgets but also in top-notch marketing talent. Structured branding efforts are significant for small businesses as they need to be visible, and there is no better way than getting recognized through your brand.

SMEs need to understand that the benefits of a strong brand go beyond awareness and market penetration as they play an instrumental role in building trust, retaining customers, and attracting the finest talent.

4) Invest in systems and processes

Since growth and expansion are top of the agenda for any small business, it is imperative that they invest in developing robust systems and processes to be future-ready. With business growth comes the complexity of operations, time constraints, documentation issues, growing no. of employees and the dire need to map business, market, and customer-related dynamics.

Therefore, it augurs well for SMEs to start developing systems and processes at an early stage and based on a step-by-step priority approach.

The ‘no fees, no equity’ Wadhwani Advantage program has a repository of business advisors, consultants and mentors, and curated experts who add great value to businesses. These are domain experts who have successfully transformed businesses and greatly supported SMEs development. You can avail of their services by applying to the Wadhwani Advantage program, which builds capacity to accelerate the revenue of businesses by 2x to 10x.
(Businesses with INR 25 Cr+ revenue and employee strength ≥ 100, intent to grow 10x and a commitment to learn can apply)

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