A common goal among small business owners is the desire to compete with the largest competitors in the market, but doing so without the kind of budget that the bigger companies have once seemed like impossibility. There was just no way to stand among the giants when you were a little guy unless you could gradually scrap your way from rung to rung on the ladder until, finally, you were in the same stratosphere. But very few businesses survived that journey.
There is a way for that to happen now, and that magic formula comes courtesy of Big Data. While the term gets defined in many different ways, what it essentially means to small business owners is that technology is such that they now have access to information that was once solely available to the market titans, if it was even available at all. Savvy CEO’s now have the same kind of weaponry in their arsenal as their largest competitors. What separates those small businesses that rise up and those that stagnate is how that knowledge is utilized.
Analytics allow business owners to break down every element of their business, from the efficiency of their supply chain to the breadth and reach of their website. Here are some of the ways that this transformation is occurring.
Locating Competitive Edges
What big data analytics are showing smaller businesses is that it’s not necessarily about attacking the bigger market actors on their level. It’s about finding the areas where being small are actually a competitive edge. Maybe a small business can offer cheaper distribution or target locally in a more efficient manner. Whatever the case, the truth is in the numbers. And with the technology available that can break down reams of statistics and present CEO’s with the most pertinent information in a matter of seconds, these areas of strength against the enemies’ weakness are made clearer.
The Past Is Prologue
One of the ways that data can be broken down in the current environment is in the effort to identify trends. Timing is everything in the business world. It’s not enough to know what the opportunity might be, but also when you should go for that opportunity. Of course, it takes the knowhow that can pick apart the date for the morsels that you need and the guts to deploy it. But if you have both, you can strike at the most opportune moments while your competition is lagging.
Passing It Along
One of the challenges for CEO’s in the era of Big Data is making sure that all of their employees are on board. Knowledge-sharing is a crucial component of making the information work for you. The information needs to be filtered through every part of your team, from the vice presidents to the mail room workers, so that they can operate in unison toward making your business thrive.
It’s important to remember that data is only as effective as the people analyzing and applying its lessons. For the small business that can do both well, the sky is the limit.