09 Apr Here’s the Big Lesson from the Mark Zuckerberg Apology Tour
Mark Zuckerberg is generating a lot of headlines. It’s too early yet to know if the old cliché “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” will eventually apply. But, what we definitely know is this is a company with too much going on at one time. Now, the merits of the scandal are in hot debate. On one hand, it’s a new practice but some marketers have come forward to explain this is just business-as-usual. Regardless, it’s started a conversation about privacy, advertising practices, and personal information security. However, this only touches the surface of the real problem — Facebook is too big.
The Facebook-Google Duopoly Example
Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about the Google-Facebook duopoly. Now, it’s more apparent than ever these two companies are the center of the internet. Even more important is what this teaches us. Both companies are currently under heavy scrutiny — a result of their massive scales. Each company is far more than their core missions. Google is part of Alphabet, a huge conglomerate. As for Facebook, it owns Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more.
Getting bigger means that you need to get more organized. Working fast and loose may have been fine for your small team of superstars, but it won’t work as well with a bigger group. As your ranks grow and positions that were filled by individuals transform into teams of people, the need to stay organized becomes amplified. —Inc.com
The point here is Google is not just a search engine. Nor is Facebook only a social media network. Both are a lot more. Now, let’s distill this down to the world of small business. It’s only natural to grow and expand into new territory. The question is, when does that compromise the company’s core? In other words, growth isn’t always a good thing.
How to Get Back to Business Basics
One critical lesson here is the fact that when a business grows, does it grow to meet the needs of its customers? Or, does it expand to other areas for the sake of chasing profit. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with adding new revenue streams. But, there is something very wrong about letting it harm core competency. Here’s a few suggestions for how to get back to business basics:
- Listen to your customers. More customers are one sign that your business is growing. As your customer base increases, it becomes more and more difficult to stay in-touch. So, start listening in earnest again. There are several ways to do this beyond personal interaction, if necessary. Surveys, email, and more are valuable resources.
- Give your team a real voice. Just because your business is larger doesn’t mean that you need to only rely on a few key people. Chances are excellent, there are team members under management who have valuable input. Solicit from them periodically and take their insight to heart.
- Purge all the extra stuff. When a company grows beyond its initial offerings, it breaks its old parameters. Which means often journeying out to untested waters. Problems inevitably ensue. So, stop trying to force what’s not working and let it go.
- Get an outside perspective. Companies can easily lose sight of their identity. If a random person can’t immediately identify what your company does, or names off a bunch of things confusingly, that’s a bad sign. Bring in an experienced business coach to give you that much-needed outside perspective.
Have you experienced a time when you needed to get back to basics? What other advice would you offer? Please share your thoughts and experiences by joining the conversation!
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