How your small business can benfit by playing with the big boys

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  • Jim

    The cloud has changed things, for sure. Examples are in the realms of word processing, e-communications, inbound web-based marketing, virtual sales / HR / accounting platforms. As Carol mentioned, cloud data sharing, in the early days only available to large, more highly capitalized businesses, is being used to its full potential by small businesses and savvy entrepreneurs.

    There's a common misconception too, about where jobs growth is coming from. Its not from "small business" but rather, from startups. The companies that are best leveraging the above mentioned technologies, as well as good business models, are generating the most opportunities for talent to excel. They are agile, and use vast amounts of information at their very few fingertips to create opportunities for more fingertips. These types of companies, startups with a fast-paced high growth mentality, are the businesses that scale quickly and add jobs.

    I'm at a logistics startup called, and we're right in the thick of this. One one hand, we are one of these very companies attempting to scale with nimble and inexpensive (often even free) tools like cloud computing. We're also creating a new web-based shipping tool that aggregates shipping data to the cloud, so that small businesses and startups can grow more quickly. The more tools small businesses and startups have to compete with larger firms, the better chance they stand, and the more competitive our economy becomes. It's great to have large firms like Microsoft leveraging economies of scale and resources. Its even better to have small companies that can complement a "Microsoft" giant, and also compete with it. Freedom to compete makes us all better, in the end.

  • Sam

    Hi Carol,

    As usual, thanks for the great information. I have been a part of many small companies and have seen them grow quickly by using some of the techniques you mentioned. As was mentioned above with cloud computing, there are many tools available to small business that allow them to play at the same level, if you will, as some of the larger corporations. One caution I would give is to consider the things that large organizations have to deal with when using their "big boy toys". Security, for example, is a major issue with virtualized tools such as cloud computing. As mentioned frequently in this cloud computing blog:… security is often overlooked and can cause more damage then the benefits of such tools can provide. Of course there are solutions to prevent such disasters, but small business that use these tools need to be aware of this.

    Thanks again,

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