How small businesses change from large businesses

Penrose (1959) mentioned that small and large businesses are as fundamentally different from each other as a 'caterpillar is from a butterfly'; they identify those characteristics of the tiny firm, apart from size, which differentiate it from the larger enterprise. Thus, while creating, building and running a small business, these characteristics will effect the small business owner's approaches and management style in comparison to large ones. Wynarczyk et al (1993) argue that we now have three central respects in which small firms are different to large organizations:


The first key region of differences is doubt. In regards to to doubt, three dimensions have been recognized:

The first doubt is the lack of market vitality,

Thus, when making and establishing a little business, the owner should have a clearer methodology of having less market power as an exterior uncertainty. This associates smaller businesses as the price-taker as they haven't any power to place prices, as the risks of new entrants is high.

However, it can be argued it depends on which kind of small businesses does the owner want to create, establish and run. For example, concentrating on 'niche' market segments with good customer-engagement way, such as a tiny holiday agency, will make small businesses with an influence in establishing their prices. Hence, small businesses have to seek to contend in other ways such as service, quality, and timeliness.

In contrast, large businesses are the price-maker anticipated to high market vitality; this must be used carefully to avoid attracting the attention of competition regulators. So, market prices are strongly inspired by large businesses that, through scale economies, should be able to establish low prices. The marketing approach is always to use a communication mixture such as, mass advertising and PR, as their financial resources allow them to take action. Thus, the competitive concentration of small and large businesses will probably fluctuate sharply.

The second way to obtain doubt for small companies is their limited customer and product basic.

A traditional example is where small firms simply act as subcontractors to bigger firms. Such organizations are available to 'subcontractor vulnerability' (Lyons and Bailey, 1993), which is established not only by reliance on prominent customers, but also after the level to which end result is specialised to particular customers. The smaller firm clearly perceives to be more vulnerable than the larger firm and operates appropriately (Lyons and Bailey, 1993).

The third doubt relates to the much greater diversity of goals of the owners of small companies, weighed against large firms.

Many small business owners seek only to obtain a minimum degree of income rather than maximising sales or gains (Storey 1994). Small business owners don't need to concern themselves with confirming their actions to external shareholders and so 'performance monitoring' effectively do not can be found. For a small firm, the relationship between your business and the owner is very much indeed better than it is between your shareholder and the top firm, and so the motivation of who owns the small company is an integral influence upon the tiny company performance (Storey, 1994).

Large organization emphasises the importance of control. The central concern is how the owners of the business enterprise ensure that the managers of the business work in their interest, and how senior professionals exert control over more junior managers. This form of 'internal' conflict is basically absent in small firms (Storey, 1994) where ownership and control are located in the hands of a few people or perhaps a single specific, thus, while jogging a tiny business, the dog owner will adopt a far more dynamic and organic management style.

In contrast, large companies are much more likely to suffer from 'internal uncertainty', identified by Curran and Blackburn (2001), as an failure to deliver something or service consistently throughout the organisation. Much managerial time in large businesses is specialized in address this matter with therefore formality and types of procedures implemented. Hence, the top businesses tend to have a bureaucratic management style with formal control over performance.


A second key area of difference between small and large firms is their approach to innovation. The role small companies play in advancement relates to their 'area of interest' role where: "it's the ability of the tiny company to provide something marginally different, in terms of service or product, which distinguishes it from a lot more standardised product or service provided by the bigger company" (Storey, 1994: 11-12). Small organizations will present fundamentally new inventions than larger companies, an attribute often related to small businesses having less commitment to existing tactics and products (Pavitt et al. 1987).

However, Schumpeter (1934) has provided empirical evidence that large businesses use static steps, and will be more ground breaking than smaller businesses. This is because most small businesses do not set out to be innovative: at best, their key invention is merely to enter a given market. Furthermore, Vehicle Praag and Versloot (2007) explained that smaller businesses are likely to commercialise enhancements but less inclined to adopt enhancements. However, large businesses innovation capitalise on heavy costs on formal research and development. Some small businesses do not innovate, and many fewer undertake formal research and development, the ones that do have the ability to bring suggestions to industry quickly if they're able to gain access to suitable financing.


The third part of difference between small and large firms is the higher likelihood of advancement and change in small firm (Storey, 1994). Small firms that become larger undergo a number of stage changes which impact the methods and design of management as well as the framework of the company (Scott and Bruce, 1987) than is the situation for larger firms (Storey, 1994). Thus, creating, establishing and running a new small business has different solutions, management styles and skills learn through experience, at different phases of the tiny business development.

Churchill and Lewis (1983) summarised the 'Five Phases of SMALL COMPANY Development' stating that small businesses have assorted management styles and techniques based on the stage the small business is within. For example, being at the existence stage (creating and building), the dog owner has direct supervision management style; his major strategy methodology would be to stay 'alive', thus, there would be no formal systems to follow.

Figure : source http://www. tameer. org. pk/images/The_Five_Stages_Of_Small_Business_Growth. pdf [utilized on 17/11/2010]

However, not all small businesses increase; a few of them neglect to survive due to the lack of environmental scanning; funding or planning.

Moreover, Hakim (1989), in her review of approximately 750, 000 UK businesses, 55 % had no strategies for growth, at the same time when the current economic climate was growing. The finding was evidently influenced by business size, with 60 % of businesses with less than 3 workers having no growth aspirations, compared with only 2 per cent of those with 25-49 employees. Hence, the smaller the operational size of the business enterprise the not as likely it is to seek to increase its scale or progress.

Skills Required to Create, Establish and Run a Small Business

A skill is simply a knowledge which is showed by action. It really is an ability to perform in a certain way.

The Five-Must Skills Requires when making; establishing and running the tiny Business

Planning skills

Personal skills and characteristics

Sales and marketing skills

Accounting and financial skills

Administrative skills

These will be the basic skills essential to enable the tiny business owner to start out, develop, funding, and market his small company. Apart from each one of these skills pointed out, other important skills are had a need to operate a business mainly: authority skills; individuals skills; conceptual skills and complex skills.

Planning skills

Creating a new business is the pre-start-up period where planning skills are incredibly important. While creating the business enterprise, an appropriate business plan is necessary which explain the business enterprise idea and model (Justin et al 2002). The business plan will require the dog owner or shareholder to have an organisation-wide strategy skill as it includes the business model, financial, marketing and operational management plan.

The techniques towards the business plan in small and large businesses vary. Corresponding to (Bridge et al. 1998), the preparation of business plan may be unsuitable for smaller businesses due to the active changes in the surroundings. Small company has a more tactical method of planning as they concentrate on the 'survival and stableness' strategy at the creating and building level and an emergent strategy at the operating stage

In addition, Paul D. Hannon and Andrew Atherton (1997) developed a style of planning in the journal of small firm success and show that there is a critical romantic relationship between planning in small company and strategic awareness potential which lead to the small business success known as the successful orienteer. Nevertheless, this isn't always the situation for small business owner to be a successful orienteer due to the internal and exterior factors affecting them.

However, in large businesses, they have a proper (permanent vision) strategy as regard with their business plan. They emphasised the corporate degree of strategy (Philip S, 2003) which aim for the steadiness and growth. The organization strategy seek to grow the business by implementing long-term marketing strategies (the Ansoff Matrix) and to achieve higher profitability, sales revenue and have better competitive advantages over its rivals.

Figure : Ansoff Matrix (2007

When creating; establishing and operating a small business time management skills are also essential. The tiny owner can make a work life balance. Small business owner may spend a lot of time at work.

Moreover, their main determination is their income to satisfy their family needs, thus, they need to make effective decisions to balance their business life using their personal life.

Figure : The business/Personal overlap

In distinction, large businesses have an effective time management skills, due to formal steps of interacting with deadlines and being conformity with legal proceedings.

Personal skills

In the first levels of business development, the non-public characteristics and skills of the tiny business proprietor will impact the management design of the business enterprise. Thus, the individual attributes influence the skills of the owner which shapes the leadership final results.

General cognitive ability



Individual attributes

Problem fixing skills

Social judgement skills



Leadership outcomes

Effective problem solving


Table : the three components of the skills model pg. 41

According to Lundberg (1985), the personal skills and characteristics such as problem-solver, persistence, self-discipline, analytical skills, good judgement of individuals and so forth, motivate the tiny business owner to produce and set up and also run his business efficiently, so that Birley (1996) stated '. The dog owner perceives the business enterprise as an expansion of his / her personality, intricately bound with family needs and needs'.

However, many smaller businesses fail compare to large businesses because they run their business as an extension of the personality. For instance, if the small business owner is introvert, quite assertive, make his own decision somewhat than talking to subordinates or explore the exterior environment, he/she is more prone to take up the 'finished' and 'indirect' management style somewhat than ' wide open' and 'direct' management style (David A 1993) which may result in inability.

The self-motivating skills and aspirations of small business owners are also not the same as those who operate large businesses. Miner (1997) concluded that small business owners are encouraged by their performance, freedom, status and family needs. Gray (2002); Hart and Oulton (1996), some are 'lifestyle' owners of small businesses whose thing is primarily to secure a comfortable living for themselves, it can be a hobby that generate incomes or to pass on their business to family members. In contrast, a minority may wish to grow their business speedily.

However, owners or shareholders of large businesses seek to increase the worthiness of the business. The task management is to achieve this maximisation of shareholders value by seeking revenue maximisation and constant growth and development. In addition, the management style will be usually inspired by the organisational culture, which contains six elements matching to Johnson and Scholes (1992).

Figure : Johnson Cultural Web (1992)

Networking skills including interpersonal skills are also important. 'Systems can be described "as: a firm's group of interactions with other organisations (Perez and Sanchez 2002:261).

In essence, what Birley (2002) implies is that folks use their sites to gain 'legitimation' and resources for their established business. Minus the advantage of such support, the implication is that many new established (start-up) businesses would be stillborn. The sociable network approach change from the way small businesses use it in comparison to large ones in order to support the development of their business.

Small businesses uses the support of its family, limited customers basic and other owners of smaller businesses to develop the establish company whereas, large businesses use a pool of cultural network (stakeholders). Thus, Birley says the credibility is lower in smaller businesses, than in large businesses due to the insufficient market electricity and resources of funds to fulfill the suppliers and customers.

Figure : The trustworthiness circuit (Sue Birley and David Norburn, 1976)

Sales and Marketing skills

The business should create knowing of his product or service and recognize them from other competitor's by effective marketing skills. The business then must be able to convert interest into cash! That's where sales, oral communication, negotiation skills and social skills come in. Thus, the tiny business owner should rely on the effective sales and marketing skills to keep up and acquire good customer marriage. For instance, identify the sales opportunity, be comfortable to handle objection and make a deal to attain 'win-win' situation (Fred E, 1987).

In large business, whole lot of finances are put towards sales and marketing. Furthermore, specialist sales and marketing director, with high competence, expertise and knowledge, are those who deal with different sales and marketing techniques to be implemented to be able to have good customer romance and extend their product/market stock portfolio.

Besides, in large businesses, brand setting plays a major role in their marketing strategy. Shocker et al. (1994) and Hatten and Schendel (1977) shows that in large businesses, brand can be a positive factor influencing sales. It offers the customer with the consciousness leading to confidence and ultimately commitment. They also confirmed that smaller businesses such as hairdresser; pubs, corner shops etc. , have no brand value, apart from some local devotion. Thus, protecting an optimistic brand image is essential for large businesses.

Accounting and Financial skills

When creating, building and running a small business, the most crucial skill that the dog owner should own is the financial skill. To implement the business enterprise idea, source of finance must start-up and run the establishment. Financial skills include: planning total annual budget; cashflow forecast, effective management of the money circuit; avoid overtrading and the profit and loss consideration should be analysed. In smaller businesses the owner has 'hands-on' skills, thus, such financial skills are needed to survive and stay in existence.

However, large businesses are in better benefit as they not have only specialist financial experts to analyse their accounts and make their budgets, but the finance institutions and building societies also help them. In addition, Ang (1991), conducted empirical evidence and stated that smaller businesses are funded generally from the owner's savings and retained gains and the use of external collateral is rare. Small businesses pay higher interest rates on borrowed money than large businesses, that have a wide selection of sources of funding. Thus, the small businesses faces a lot of financial difficulties as stated in the physique below.

Figure : The Financial Skills face by Small Business Owners by Jonathan Tucker and Jonathan Low fat -2003

Administrative skills

Administrative skills include a variety of organisational and complex skills from planning, organising, scheduling and to staffing. Thus, a tiny business proprietor should have got administrative skills, such nearly as good filing process of the billings, invoices therefore. In contrast, large businesses as a rule have the finance to invest in latest technology to be able to control their administrative skills.

Key Variances in Running Smaller businesses and Large Businesses: Skills; Methods and Management style

The management styles are distinctive ways of making decisions and associated with subordinates. Different management styles can be utilized reliant on the culture of the business, the type of the duty, the nature of the workforce and the personality and skills of the owners or market leaders. As mentioned in the essay, the small companies skills are pretty much exactly like the entrepreneurial skills, they take up an adaptive and organic management style whereas large businesses ownership skills will be more predictive and mechanist which relate with their autocratic management style.

Figure : Differences between the small company management skills and management style in comparison to large ones (Beaven and Jenning- 1995)

However, proclaiming that large businesses have a far more autocratic management style due to its bureaucratic organisational composition, is too generalised, disregarding the fact that the management styles and the relative importance of the abilities (technical; decision-making and social skills) ranges within the level of management.

Management level

Primary Management Skills needed

Primary Management Functions Performed

Management or command styles


Decision-Making and Interpersonal skills

Planning and Organising

Participative management style


Balance of Interpersonal; Tech; and Decision-Making skills

Balance of most five functions

(Planning; Organising; Controlling; staffing and Leading)

Balance of autocratic; democratic and paternalistic as result to circumstances


Technical and Interpersonal Skills

leading and controlling

Balance of democratic and autocratic as lead to circumstances

Table : Skill needed; Function performed and Management styles used at different management levels. Source: lassier (2002)

In addition, the culture prevails in the organisation will condition the organisational framework. Nowadays, many large businesses, such as B&Q are concentrating in creating a flat structure, with more flexibility. Besides, strategies and management styles changes according to circumstances and goals. Skills can quickly become outdated if owners or shareholders are not constantly upgrading them. Thus, training and development and knowledge management of the owners and employees are incredibly crucial.

In smaller businesses, owner's management style will be inspired by their skills and characteristics, thus, saying that anticipated to informal control and undifferentiated jobs, the tiny businesses offer an organic and natural or flatter framework due to fewer tiers is not necessarily the case. Some small businesses fail as some owners are autocratic as they need things to be achieved their way and are often the main one who makes decisions without consulting the employees and analysing the external environment.

The table below provides evidences of the main element variations between small and large businesses as regard to the running of the business which will effect the owner's skills, methods and management style.

Aspect (Proof)

Small Business

Large Business

What difference can it make?

Strategy (Man et al. 2002; Rangone 1999)

Has to be adaptable since it lacks the possibility to experience scale economies. So, much more likely to develop an emergent strategy

The large business will seek to exploit its price advantages, and advantage obtained by heavy investment in people, set investments or research and development

The development of new marketplaces and particular new market sectors has often been pioneered by smaller businesses. Once, those companies have become founded, average business size raises because economies of range become important

Political influence

(Dannreuther 1999)

The individual small company, acting together, will have little impact on administration.

Large businesses are widely consulted by governments, even at the early stage when legislation is considered.

Large businesses have significant electricity and can effect the formulation of administration plan. If legislation. However, large businesses argue that, whilst they comply completely with legislation, smaller businesses can avoid enforcement by preventing the scrutiny of authorities.

Wages and benefits for personnel (Brown et al. 1990; Troske, 1999)

Small businesses generally pay lower income and provide fewer fringe benefits

Larger businesses pay higher pay and provide more fringe benefits

Large and small businesses hire different types of worker. The small business staff member is more likely to be either old or young, seduced by a team cultural and less inclined to have formal requirements.

Human resources (Vickers et al. 2005; Forth et al. 2006)

At their finest, small businesses provide a happy environment where to work. At, their most detrimental, they could be unsafe, exploitative, working conditions.

Large companies are more likely to attract prime age personnel, with formal requirements, and those seeking a job.

Overall, job satisfaction appears to be higher in small than in large businesses. Large business staff are likely to get a higher remuneration bundle but small business staff may derive higher satisfaction from versatility and sense of teamwork.

Training and Recruitment (Carroll et al. 1999; Storey 2005)

Small businesses provide less training and recruit new personnel through informal stations.

Large companies are much more likely to provide formal training and use formal channels to recruit new staff.

Small businesses, because they emphasise the utilization of informal techniques, are looked at by some as 'backward'. But this is to misunderstand the motivations and constraints of small enterprises. What's less clear is whether smaller businesses provide more casual training than large ones.

Competitive advantages (Jennings and Breaver 1997)

Flexible, responsive to the customer.

Able to attempt investment and offer a more comprehensive service.

Large businesses can enjoy scale economies, so they will have the ability to contend on price. They are also able to supply a wider selection of liked services, avoiding the dependence on customers to obtain to look around.

Table : The key dissimilarities between small and large businesses; Source: Storey and Greene (2010)


Thus, creating, establishing and running a small business does indeed require some of the abilities as functioning large ones, however the approaches and management styles will be different to large and smaller businesses because of the variations in characteristics and the different factors affecting them internally and externally. Besides, the tiny business owners do have different goals, plan, skills and strategies. For example, a small business owner has undifferentiated roles, thus have to have a hand-on skills to market diversity and flexibility.

However, it was also pointed out that skills and management style varies upon the degrees of management and also people will vary individuals who use different management styles according to the circumstances and objectives.

The key advantage of the small business is the fact that while the exterior doubt they experienced are higher than large businesses, they experienced less internal uncertainties due to their close control over the business enterprise. In addition, smaller businesses see themselves as customer concentrated, placing focus on service. However, generalisation is untrue: that smaller businesses have insufficient market power, nor grow. For instance, the crematorium, a small business could exert real market electric power over a competition.

We shouldn't neglect as well that skills; approaches and management design of small businesses would be different to large businesses because small businesses tend to be higher in the chance of failure. The main reasons are normally insufficient contingency plans, poor risk analysis done and lack of leadership style. This is why smaller businesses focus on cash rather than revenue (Birley, 1992).

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