Specializing our work towards water damage restoration companies and literally working with hundreds upon hundreds of them, you start to notice what the big companies do to get and stay big and what the little companies do to keep themselves small. I could categorize most of it into 2 categories – attitude and activities.
Here are my observations of the big company/small company attitudes and activities:
Big companies: Spend 80% of their time and attention on getting new business. Their noses are down in their marketing campaigns, actively working at it, every week.
Small Companies: Only focus their attention on marketing for new business when the season slows down (too late) and there is no work coming in. Then they feel like they are “forced to do it.”
Big companies: Are trying to be everywhere. They are trying to be in front of everyone, everywhere, every magazine, radio channel, internet location, billboard, etc.
Small Companies: Are trying to find that “magic” marketing spot. That magic marketing action that they heard about on some internet forum from some guy they don’t know whose company “exploded from doing it.” But they neglect everything else.
Big companies: Are extremely persistent. They keep at what they are doing, they don’t try one thing and move on to the next, move on to the next, etc.
Small Companies: Are sporadic. They try things here and there but do not stick with any activity really long enough to make it work.
Big companies: Always seem to be worried about the future. They always are working on expanding fast, to avoid and “what ifs” in the economy.
Small Companies: Get complacent with where they are. When things are good, they forget about the future, until the season slows down, then they worry, again too late.
Big companies: Hire the right people, fire the wrong ones. They know that their business will only expand if they have A players that can grow things. Business is business and people will either expand their areas, or they won’t. They generally aren’t staffed with family and friends.
Small Companies: Don’t hire enough people, don’t fire enough people. They sit on people they are unsure about because they are afraid to fire them (for whatever reason) – people that don’t get their production in the company rising. Sometimes they even fill their company up with family and friends who aren’t productive, complicating firing them even more and turning the business into a dramatic family event.
Big companies: Track their statistics, finances and growth. They know how many calls they got and from where, they know where their month is revenue-wise compared to last year and they have software programs that are very organized to see all of it.
Small Companies: Fly by the seat of their pants. They don’t know where their calls are coming from for sure (although they say they do), they are running their whole business out of one bank account that can be a mess and growth is unknown other than “How much money did I make this month?”
Big Companies: Delegate. They hire people to do the small stuff so they can focus on making more income – marketing and sales.
Small Companies: The owners usually try to do everything themselves to “save money.” And while being so busy “saving money” on not hiring people, they now have no time to spend on sales and marketing and do not grow as a result.
Big Companies: Are usually very optimistic. They go into things knowing they will work and will do what it takes to get it done once they’ve decided to do it. When things didn’t work, they still learned important lessons and saw opportunity arising out of that “failure”.
Small Companies: Can sometimes be pessimistic. They want to see how something will fail first, before jumping into anything, and then, if it does, they were right in the first place.” But that is if they made the decision to do something in the first place, which they often don’t. Then they don’t learn any valuable lessons from those losses and don’t see any opportunities either.
Think and act like a big company, become one of them. Think and act small, stay small.
Dan York, Founder and CEO
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