by Ashley Laurel Wilson

Startup Smarts: 3 Tips for Better Business

Mar 11, 20093 mins
InnovationIT LeadershipIT Strategy

Three business practices to learn from entrepreneurs, even if you're already bringing in the big bucks.

The relationships between startups and older organizations is comparable to the relationship between siblings. There’s rivalry for sure, but also mutual respect. Yet though discussions oftentimes focus on what startups can learn from their older, more established “rivals”, it’s time that startups’ business smarts got noticed. Startups are long-term vision oriented, social networking savvy and budget conscious.

Although startup founders may have patches of nervousness or self-doubt, they’re generally enthusiastic about their endeavors.

Octavio Ballesta, technology project manager and management consultant at Inelectra, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in Latin America, says, “In a nascent business, the experience of being an entrepreneur is highly emotive and gratifying when its founders are smart, disciplined and persistent when assuming a passionate attitude, building a sense of purpose, sharing an inspiring vision and creating an exhilarating climate.”

To keep the climate exciting, startup founders, if they’re smart, engage their employees and see arising issues as new challenges that come with company growth, not annoying obstacles.

Though, among other challenges, startups are in the unique position of needing to get their brand name recognized by the public, while a larger organization has to maintain its brand image. To keep employees and customers engaged, even through challenges, is to get involved online.

Setting up a profile on a site such as Twitter or LinkedIn has value, for even the most established brand. A company blog, or at least a press release feed helps both current and potential customers keep up to date with company news, and perhaps even add insight into how the company can better serve them. In addition, companies are quickly able to interact with clients. People want to work with people, not a faceless corporate organization. While networking in person is great, using smart online networking techniques is now just as important and is more cost efficient.

Even in better economic times, living frugally is smart, but budgeting is something a startup thinks about constantly and so should larger organizations.

Obviously catering to a client—as in, wining and dining at a nice resturant— may be profitable in the long run, but there are other ways to economize. Why not cut costs on simple things food and transportation and instead put money towards not losing employees and maintaining technology needed to run the business?

Plan for the worst, and don’t over reward yourself, or your employees, when times are good.

Established companies should already know which business practices work and which don’t, but that doesn’t mean new good ideas can’t come from younger companies about how to capitalize on the changing work world. Enthusiasm, online networking and working within a budget are smart business practices that work for a companies of any size.