Think big: Five large-company traits every business should adopt

Almost every business, no matter the size, dreams of making it big one day. But when it comes to business success, it goes without saying that the big-end of town didn’t stumble across it by chance.

The big players in any industry – brands such as Apple, Coke or Nike – generally weren’t overnight successes. It took years of planning, commitment and hard work from many people, and probably a dose or two of good luck.

While every successful brand generally has a unique set of attributes that also helps it achieve success, there are a number of key disciplines big companies have that any sized business can adopt to aid growth.

Here’s five of the most influential traits:

1. Seek the best people

It’s often said that people are a business’ biggest asset. So it’s no coincidence that big companies often aggressively target the best people. They understand the importance that the right people can make to their operations.While you may not have the budgets to offer large six-figure salaries to your staff, there are many other benefits that smaller businesses can offer employees, including flexibility and the opportunity to shape something or make their mark.Focus on building competitive salary and benefits packages for your potential employees.

 

2. Put in place strong governance

In order to grow, businesses should focus on having the right mix of skills at not only an operational level, but also at an advisory level. Whether you’re a family business or publicly owned company, having a group of external directors with a mix of skills in finance, marketing, commercial law and tax will go a long way to helping the business achieve growth.Many smaller businesses have a view that governance structures are for large companies, but no matter your business size, putting these in place can deliver planning, financial analysis and risk management benefits.For family enterprises or privately owned businesses, consider building an advisory team utilising the skills of an external accounting or advisory firm.

 

3. Invest in your brand

Almost every successful company also has a strong and recognisable brand. The leadership teams of these businesses have seen the benefit of investing in, and cultivating, a strong brand. By delivering clear and consistent messaging, the brand, and what it stands for, becomes recognisable to the audience the company is targeting.The proliferation of digital marketing channels in recent years has made brand building more accessible to businesses of any size. But the investment in the brand needs to be ongoing and consistent, and where possible, across a range of marketing channels.

4. Plan for growth

Success doesn’t happen by chance, and one of the main ways that businesses achieve growth is through careful planning. If you’re thinking big, then you need to plan for that expansion.The discipline of annual business planning will ensure you set realistic, achievable and measurable goals, and make it more likely that you’ll be able to realise steady and consistent growth. If you feel you need help with the planning process, consider engaging a business advisor. Also keep in mind that growth doesn’t always have to be organic. Mergers or acquisitions can be a smart way to achieve growth quickly.

5. Understand your market

It’s one thing to have a great idea, but it’s another thing to have a great idea that people want to buy, use or engage with. Every successful company understands the market opportunity for their product or service, from the competitors it is battling against, right down to the type of customer they are targeting.Invest the time in understanding the market you’re operating in, your customers and the competitive environment. By doing this, you’ll be much better equipped to capitalise on opportunities as they arise.Big or small, building a thriving business takes a great idea, hard work and persistence. But whatever your size, adopting the disciplines that have been tried and tested by the best companies in the world will bring you one step closer to creating the enterprise you want.

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