Eight things entrepreneurs can learn from large organizations

by Ashvini on March 29, 2012 · 7 comments

in Business

As an entrepreneur, one may have strong dislike for big organizations. Big organizations are infamous  for their bureaucracy, slow speed and labyrinths of processes. It is hard to get a project started unless its financial and technical feasibility has been studied to death. It seems that big organization cannot move a single step without checking everything under the sun.

Large Organization

In my opinion, big organization though slow in progress and inefficient do have a few things that every small entrepreneurs can learn.

    1. Detail oriented

      Projects have to be approved at multiple levels before they can be started. A project has to pass through financial, legal, technical committees. That means better planning and better risk analysis.

      Entrepreneurs: Detailed planning is the key. The more the better .

    2. Processes over arbitrary decision

      Every step in the progress of project is scrutinized by experts. That means a project has to go through many processes. There are checks and balances . Processes are can be used over and over again.

      Entrepreneurs: Create processes for repeating tasks.

    3. Budget and costs.

      Large organization concentrate a lot on budgeting their resources and keeping a check on the costs. Even though they can absorb any financial shock, they try to minimize them.

      Entrepreneurs: Cost planning and budgeting is fundamental

    4. Commitment

      They  are very committed to see the projects through. They put more resources wherever needed and also spend if they can accelerate the project speed.

      Entrepreneurs:  Do not hesitate to spend money if it improves your productivity

    5. Focus towards company objectives

      Most of the projects in large organizations are tied to their objectives. It usually about building a portfolio of service / products that support their main product/service. That way they are able to dominate their market.

      Entrepreneurs: Develop a vision and focus

    6. Take slow concrete steps

      Large organizations often take their time to get into new areas.  Though sometimes they may be late starters but they are more better prepared to handle things when they go wrong.

      Entrepreneurs: Plan your resources before you get into something new

    7. Build an ecosystem

      They thrive on ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers. They rarely do everything by themselves. They often leverage synergies from the ecosystem.

      Entrepreneurs: Develop an ecosystem for your business.

    8. Work for long term returns

      The projects of large organizations often run for years and have high gestation period. These projects ensure revenue for long after they have been completed .

      Entrepreneurs: Think long term, develop your own products.

      Do you think there is anything else that large organizations can teach entrepreneurs?

      Image: Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About The Author

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonia April 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

Great post Ash. I have learned allot from the jobs I have had…good and bad. With service companies, they run at a fast pace and decisions tend to get made quickly and most times not always good. I think the customer suffers and complaints tend to be rampant because I see service companies (not consultants) trying to do so much business with less resources at once and the customer ends up being the person who suffers.

Companies that have the resources, manpower and planning far well better because they do plan and plan well. The company I am with really do plan, collaborate and really work together to make sure stuff gets done. Everyone is held accountable and the goal is to create more sustainable business long term. Not all businesses are created equal and even small companies far better than most because of the time, effort and attention to detail they can add to their business when it comes to getting things done.

The would-be entrepreneur can really create a successful business learning from big business because all they have to use is what’s in front of them. Set your budget, use the resources available online (most free) and still create a presence that can rival the big giants. Where there is a will, there is a way. Anyone can create a business, they just have to find what interests them most and just DO IT! You might not have the same financial rewards, but still attain enough business to pay the bills and get ahead at a steady pace.

You know me Ash..I tend to go on and on.

Excellent post Ash!


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hey Sonia,

I am sure that if you don’t stop yourself, you would create a sub blog here ;) haha!!.

What I like to learn and ask others to learn from large organizations is the kind of preparation and planning they undertake before project. Though the small entrepreneur may not have all the tools for planning or expertise available to him or her, still he or she can plan to some extent. This saves a lot of pain later on.

I like the point where you say The would-be entrepreneur can really create a successful business learning from big business because all they have to use is what’s in front of them. We can only make the best of whatever resources you have got with you. Make the best use of it, have patience and see the business grow. This formula always works :).

I loved your comment and you have a great day:)


Bill Dorman April 3, 2012 at 12:43 am

Looks like the life I live; the only other thing I would add would be to hire for culture. It’s much easier to hire for culture (people with the right attitude) than try to teach it from within. Hiring the right person on the front end makes all the difference in the world.

Be slow to hire and quick to fire if necessary.

We are not a big organization, but we do have 70 employees with billed premiums in excess of $100 million and revenues in the $10 million range so it’s big enough. Some decisions are not as easy as just turning the wheel.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Hi Bill,

Yes, hiring the right person for culture is important. It is interesting because in India organizations often do the opposite because they take over almost impossible deadlines. In the end they have problems with employees fitting in.
Every decision needs a good thought before someone rush in.

Thanks for adding your point to the list :)


Aswani April 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Hi Ashvini…I enjoyed reading this post and I enjoyed more listening to what was being read. I think you have done a great job by installing that text2speech addon. Is truly one of the best additions to this blog. Keep it up..Cheers !


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Hey Aswani,
I was always wondering if anyone was using this facility as there is no way to track it. But I saw that a lot of people do like to listen to audio than just read the post. You can even download mp3 wherever available. Thanks for telling me about usage of this service. :)


Andrew March 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm

thank you for these points i really enjoyed your post.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: