4 Differences Between Small and Large Business
Tags: ERP  
27/05/2011 7:14 PM

The difference between working for a large business and working for a small business can often be quite pointed. In this article, we'll take a look at four of the biggest differences that are often found between small and large businesses, including company politics, company culture, attitudes towards spending and implementation of business software and systems.

1. The politics
Politics exist in all situations where groups of people are involved. From national governments to local sporting clubs, and from mega corporations to small businesses, there are politics to be navigated. However, the difference between large and small businesses when it comes to politics is marked. In small businesses, things can often be a lot more personal. Employees may, for example, work for multiple bosses who each have their own say in how the business is going forward. Or perhaps it might involve dealing with the CEO's family members, who have their own expectations. In small companies everybody knows everybody, and this means they have a better knowledge of where the others stand in the company. In big businesses such situations are less common, and, where they are there are usually structures in place to help circumnavigate them.

2. The culture
In big businesses, company culture is part of a strategy; owners and upper management realise that a good culture is important, so they come up with ways to ensure a company culture is built. This may even involve hiring employees dedicated to this task. In small businesses culture relies as much on the personalities of employees as anything else. The creation of the culture is more organic, and as a result it's often a lot more laid back. Additionally, in small businesses the attitudes of the owners themselves play a bigger part in shaping culture. For example, a laid-back owner who doesn't mind heading to the local pub might allow for a more relaxed atmosphere than one who is more narrowly focused on work, work, work.

3. Attitudes towards spending
In small businesses, any money that is spent by employees is coming directly out of the owner's bank account. This can mean anything from ordering rooms on a business trip to printing in colour instead of black and white can attract the ire of management immediately. In larger organisations, such attitudes towards spending are not apparent. There may be rules in place company-wide to discourage flippant spending habits, but in general, the impact of such spending is nothing but a drop in the ocean. Additionally, in big businesses budgets are a lot bigger, allowing employees more room to manoeuvre than employees of small businesses.

4. Software and systems
Another marked difference can be seen in the implementation of computer software and systems within the organisation. For big businesses, large data centres with their own dedicated IT teams might be maintained in order to manage all the company data, whereas in smaller businesses they may keep their data in the cloud with a software-as-a-service provider. On the other hand, the gap between uses of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and other business software for large and small business is closing. Whereas once ERP software was the sole domain of large businesses, these days it can be just as useful for small businesses.

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