When people talk about startups and how they stack up against big companies, they usually mention all the lessons that these big corporations can learn from the spunky little startups and their lean methods. In reality, however, there is just as much that startups can learn from the big companies. By adopting some of these practices, startups can increase their chances of making it in the very harsh and unforgiving startup arena.


1. Know your Customers

Big companies are known to spend a ton of time and money on learning about their customers and their potential customers before they put out a product or a service. IKEA, for example, spends years on market research before they enter a new market. While startups cannot afford to spend this amount of time and money, they should still learn as much as they can about their customers and the people they hope to make their customers.

In fact, this is even more important for startups. There is nothing worse for a startup than to come out with a product or a service only to find out that no one wants it. And this has been known to happen. Customer insight is king.

2. Be Tactical with Change

It is at the very core of the startup culture to be disruptive and to introduce change into people’s lives. That is what startups are based on. However, this is not something that should be taken at face value. While people might like or even need a change, if it is too big of a change, they might be against it. Many startups have failed because their founders were too ambitious in their ideas.

It can be just as important to be tactical with changes within your startup. For example, if you introduce new software or tools that can help your employees do their jobs, make sure to do this patiently and in a way that will not disrupt their everyday work. Large companies can rely on software release management and you will want to mimic this process as closely as you can as a startup.


4. Be Careful about HR

Most big companies have entire HR departments that handle hiring, onboarding and all the following steps in the HR world. Big companies know that they cannot take their chances when hiring people and getting the most out of them.


For startups, the margin of error is even smaller and this is particularly noticeable in HR. Hire the right person and you will give your startup a boost that might just turn it into a winner. Hire the wrong person and you will have lost weeks or even months on someone who does not contribute and only wastes valuable resources. The worst mistake you can make is take hiring lightly. In a startup, it is all about the people who do the work.

About Dan Radak:

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.