Social Business for Small Businesses
Louis Richardson 120000HRWE firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  quickr connections social-business | 1 Comments | 1,970 Visits
Today I had the privilege of sharing our social business message to a wonderfully warm audience in bitterly cold Helsinki. It was a great day of conversation with representatives from a variety of industries and like usual, I learned a great deal from our interactions.
Many in the audience were from small to medium sized businesses and after my session I was approached by a number of attendees asking about the applicability of social business in their sized organizations. I realized that I had not made a distinction about the value as it relates to the size of the organization. But because we leverage social business techniques at IBM, I do often refer to our own use case, which may lead some to believe it is targeted for larger organizations. So I wanted to take this opportunity to address the question.
Many of the business pains addressed by social tools are present in companies with 10,000 individuals as well as companies with 100. So here is a quick check list (Disclaimer: This is my quick list that I might include in a conversation. I'm sure I probably missed some things, but that's what social is about and that's why we encourage members of this community to comment...so we can all improve):
If you answered "yes" to many of these questions, your company is a solid candidate for social business solutions. But be advised, some companies have enough business friction from just one of these items that they can make major business advances by making the transformation to social solutions.
In some ways I think the smaller companies may have an advantage. In a social business the culture of the organization is a primary factor. I've worked in companies of all sizes and I've observed that smaller organizations can adopt cultural changes more rapidly than their larger counterparts. In the case of social business impact, this can have significant payback for these organizations. And with user based licensing, the price of the solution is not prohibitive for small organizations.
Also consider the
earlier definition of constituents. You may have a small
organization, but your business activities and related conversations
can span a large audience. Think about how you can include them in
your social network. Consider your business partners,
sub-contractors, suppliers, dealers, and even customers. How might
their inclusion in your social network impact your business
relationship? How might your social leadership serve as a differentiator in securing and maintaining your business relationship?
If you have questions or ideas on this topic, I would encourage you to post them as comments to this blog entry. If you are not already a member, you will need to register, but the registration process is quick and easy. I and your fellow social community members deeply appreciate your contribution.
For those involved in the Collaboration Forum 2011 we held in Helsinki, thank you for your interest and investment in time today. I've posted the presentation from my keynote in my files area. Please use it freely in your organization and let me know how it goes.
So remember, even if you are a small company, you should Get Social. Do Business.