There are notable advantages and disadvantages related directly to the size of your organization. As a small company, it would be helpful at times to think like a bigger firm and have more processes and procedures in place. The opposite is always true; with larger companies favouring process over the kind of entrepreneurial decision making that made their companies a success in the first place.
It’s basically a spin on the economic theory of marginal utility. What are you willing to give up of “A” to get more of “B”? There is always a trade off. I think it would be an interesting exercise for employees, managers and owners alike to put on a different thinking hat the next time a decision has to be made.
I had occasion to do this in a small way a couple of weeks ago. We had to decide whether to replace or replenish an $8,000 colour laser printer. The consumables on the 4 year old printer were getting expensive and there were 3 costly imaging units to replace. We also had a number of supplies for the existing printer we couldn’t return. The decision, see if we could sell the existing printer and supplies first on eBay. The result, there wasn’t much demand or value for either. The end game, we discovered there were plenty of supplies for our existing printer on eBay, at a fraction of what we had been paying…making our existing printer viable to operate again.
I had put on the hat I wore when I started the company. A time when every dollar counted. I believe it was the right decision and sends a message within our company that if we can save money (with the very important condition of not compromising quality or wasting valuable time)… it’s the right way to go.
My job has allowed me to chat extensively with transport carriers of all descriptions and sizes. I’ve heard lots of stories like this (on a much bigger scale) where hundreds of thousands of dollars have been saved by putting on a thinking hat that was more common “back in the day”. The recession has forced the survivors to get our “mojo workin”… and it’s good for business big and small.
Lee’s quote for the day
“A recession is a great teacher if you choose to listen closely and take your seat at the front of the class.”