Big companies are attractive. They have hundreds of employees – each an expert in their particular field. They have big parties, big clients, big work, and the latest amenities from custom dry cleaning services to cereal bars. But is bigger always better?
Here at Hotbed we’re lucky to work in a growing test market as a small, devoted group. And doing so definitely comes with benefits. But how do we compete with big teams when it comes to project and client expectation? What about working for a small team can be attractive to anyone in the business.
Here are some of the benefits of going small:
1. Many Hats
While big companies will have specific people filling specific roles, a small team often finds themselves working multiple jobs. This means that while working on projects they gain a better understanding of the industry overall, becoming experts in more than one field and thus, helping others understand the process of undergoing different project phases.
This also fosters great communication skills between team members – assuring that details to not get lost or forgotten throughout a projects life. This communication also ensures that multiple team members can be used as a lifeline for communication to anyone working on the project – giving updates and answering any questions that may arise. Communication is also apt to happen more quickly in smaller environments.
2. (Avoiding) Too Many Cooks
A common thought is that “two heads are better than one” and this is certainly true. However, fifty heads might be a bit too many. With a small group, you’ll spend a lot less time butting heads and arguing over different ideas and viewpoints. This means that clients can get through projects faster with better consistency and solid approaches.
While a larger team may provide more resources, they will also require more management. This is also assuredly going to lead to hidden costs – motivation, relational, and coordinating.
3. Keeping Lean
Small teams tend to be more focused, cohesive, well trained, and interactive. They also make it a lot harder to “hide”. Each member is clearly visible in the workflow and has to pull their weight for something to get done. If not, they can be easily identified and managed. This means that, typically, a well motivated small group will be efficient and devoted to a project – they want to see it exceed as much as the client or audience! Lean teams tend to be more focused, cohesive, well trained, and interactive.
4. That “Roomie” Vibe
Small teams tend to work together often in small spaces. Add that on top of team development events – happy hours, movie nights, or holiday parties – and you’ve basically got roommates. This work style helps promote camaraderie, trust, and dependency within a team so that they can understand each other and build a workflow that’s well oiled and ready for anything. Less time is spent on bringing others up to speed or training.
A strong sense of transparency between team members also means prevention of bad behavior like free-riding through projects (see “keeping lean”). Transparency also allows for a safe place and psychological freedom of teammates to talk about any problems they feel they are facing and promote the flow of constant feedback amongst themselves. This comfortable-ness only helps a team grow stronger.
A team that feels good around each other will also show each other gratitude and appreciation - keeping the good vibes going. What are your thoughts on small vs big?