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2021’s Top Ten: #3

Big and Small in 2021

In the current situation, every top decision-maker is aware that we are living in a time when the traditional business mindset does not work. Even in 2020, many people believed that even if they have to change strategies, they should not drift too far away from the well-tread paths. So, they tried to find a way out of the crisis using in-house solutions. There might have been changes that showed results; however, by now, they know that in-house solutions are far from real strategies onto which we can build futures.

Small ones and big ones

Of course, this statement does not apply to companies of every size, location, and sector. Experts say that the gap between giant and small companies becomes even bigger when there is a crisis. However, it is interesting that most people do not want to understand the real side of this fact. I do not mean the side that focuses on weathering cost burdens and differences resulting from size. Small companies cannot do anything about that. I mean the most critical factor from the perspective of business strategy, which is the examination of the change of consumer demands. In several places, we hear that the main target groups are the mass and the premium segments. They even add that every crisis enhances this situation, and after The Great Recession, the crisis of 2020 settled it once and for all. What roles do small and big companies play in it? It is fine that a global company cannot be compared to a boutique company in terms of costs, business strategy capacity, and possibilities. However, we should not think that the two roles are set in stone, and multinational companies deserve the premium audience while small companies have to content themselves with the mass. Unfortunately, several owners of smaller companies hold onto this misbelief. They do not even try to develop their companies or take up the gauntlet in this desperate fight with the big ones. Why don’t they? In many cases, we blame the entrepreneurs; we think that they simply like to complain. There is some truth in it because the “I am too small” excuse always seems like a good one. Who would question them whether they have really done everything to succeed? People would immediately react to the criticism by saying how “it is not a nice thing to kick someone when they are down”. You know what I mean. Who will draw an entrepreneurs’ attention to the fact that their possibilities did not only not decline, but have even improved from the viewpoint of the market? Of course, we should not generalise. It only applies to those companies that can offer something unique in their fields. This will be the key to 2021 in business. Only those companies will win that can provide the customers with a unique, preferably premium solution.

Small premium

I have taken part in formulating several product concepts where we developed products as a team for companies of different sizes. We repackaged and presented their knowledge and services, which they could not articulate in any marketable way. This work took place in several economic sectors across many countries, however, one thing was common among all the product concepts: we had to add some kind of extra service to the given product parameters. It was also clear that the smaller the company was, the easier it was to define this extra feature and push it through to the client’s organisation, which resulted in greater results and market success. One of the main advantages of small companies is that only they can make their clients feel big. In the case of a global company, you are only one of many. Of course, they have serious processes to keep their clients from feeling that way, but facts are facts. It is no coincidence that since the Great Recession, the number of boutique companies has significantly increased among companies targeting the real premium segment. The main advantage of the premium segment is that demand is solvent and not price sensitive. The consumer receives something that a big company providing lower prices can never grant: personal attention and high-quality, unique customer service. This segment is drastically developing, so the “small ones” have the same possibilities as the “big ones”. Nevertheless, they have to stop feeling sorry for themselves first and get their own houses in order to find out which direction they can head. If they have unmotivated employees who cannot provide customers with the feeling of real service, they will definitely not be successful in 2021, or later on either.