“We can serve more customers and grow faster with a less capital intensive funding model,” Petris says.
A focus in execution is important. Koto Hair organises its business, including policies, procedures and training, around clients.
“We have a Client Journey Handbook,” Bautista says. “It is how we ensure we deliver the best possible customer experience and continually improve it.”
Often large businesses are large because they’ve acquired other businesses or branched out into other segments. It can be very easy to lose sight of the purpose of a company and what it stands for.
BALANCING CASH FLOW AND INVESTMENT
Small businesses do not have funding from thousands of shareholders, nor the ability to make mistakes and recover. Often money invested comes entirely from the business owners themselves.
However, lower costs and focused investment brings its own set of unique advantages.
“By utilising technology to offer the best user experience and reduce transaction costs, we are able to share those productivity gains with our customers,” Petris says.
It’s hard to imagine how decision-making processes at a big business would change if funds were suddenly constrained. What if it was the decision makers’ own money? Would that drive further innovation or improved agility?
There are many reasons why big and small businesses differ. But with technology breaking down some of the barriers to entry to larger markets, there will inevitably be increased competition from tech-enabled SMEs.
Our research showed us areas of focus for large enterprises are being clear on purpose, focusing on customers, modifying hiring to reflect culture, breaking down bureaucracy and a focus on service.
In large organisations it’s not easy but it can be done by finding those internally already doing it well and growing from there. There is no doubt some large businesses are focusing on these attributes well, but there is always more for big businesses to learn.
Keren Roberts is GM - NZ Shared Services at ANZ. Members of the TSO team who contributed to this article include Graham Browne, Ryan Deng, Emily Edgeley, Kate Johnstone, Yangsheng Feng, and Chithra Sundar.
Banner pic: the staff of Koto Hair