Small Business

What can small and large businesses learn from each other?

July 31, 2020 | By Raja Rajamannar

The Topline

Our biggest global challenges have highlighted the value of mutual support among not just individuals and communities, but businesses of every size. Small business owners are constantly challenged to translate their passion and grit into smartly run companies, while big corporations work hard to stay connected and flexible.

The Tidbit

To grow, a small business must stay focused on the big picture; to thrive, a large business must stay connected to its roots.

The Middle Ground

Thankfully, businesses don’t have to go far for good examples and advice. They do have to respect their differently-sized counterparts and be receptive to their insights. Entrepreneurs, look up; big brands, think small.

My Take

  • Small businesses excel at adapting and redirecting quickly; large companies have a harder time changing course. Big brands, take a pointer: Don’t let your size drag you behind the market.
  • Small-business owners stay connected with their peers and accessible to other entrepreneurs. Likewise, large companies can benefit from prioritizing openness and collaboration.
  • Big businesses build their way up on strong business plans and savvy management. That’s really the only path to success: To make it, entrepreneurs must also be sharp general managers.
  • Large businesses plan proactively for a broad range of potential scenarios. Small businesses may operate in a smaller ecosystem, but they too should be prepared for changes and challenges of all kinds.

Long Story Short

The paradigm has shifted for businesses of every size. Small and large businesses listening and learning from each other will be key to moving forward and growing stronger together.


Marketing Sense is a blog series from Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer. Every month, Marketing Sense will bring you unique, original, relevant content to equip you with the knowledge that will keep you ahead of a rapidly changing industry. We’ll filter out the noise to focus on key marketing trends backed by new findings and support from thought leaders from across the trade.

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Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer