Ten things SMEs have in common with zebras
Here at Amack, the zebra has become a bit of a symbol for all that we do. Here’s why we like to think we’re all a little bit zebra here, and a few ways you can help your small business work better by thinking like a zebra, too.
A zebra’s stripes are unique
In fact, they’re as unique as a human fingerprint. As a small business, making your USPs clear in your branding is something that will always serve you well, setting you apart from the rest of the crowd.
Zebras are agile
These speedy beasts can run up to 65km per hour. SMEs need to be pretty light on their hooves, too, and being small is something that can sometimes make us more speedy in terms of reacting to a business need or spotting a way to get ahead.
They’re quick to get up and running, too
Newborn zebra foals are on their feet just six minutes after birth and 40 minutes to an hour later they’ve mastered the art of running! Launching a start-up can feel like a sprint at the beginning, too. You go from nothing to running a business in what feels like a matter of seconds, but as any zebra will tell you, from there it becomes a marathon and not a sprint if you want to survive.
Zebras can be good climbers
But they also know when it’s wise to stay static and allow things to come to you. Mountains and Plains Zebras are excellent at climbing and have pointed hooves to allow them to scale sharp inclines. Grevy’s zebras tend to stay close to the grasslands habitat they are used to. Like SMEs, it’s about knowing where you are in your journey and whether scaling that sharp incline will have benefits for your business.
Herds are sociable, but in different ways
Different species of zebra group together in different ways. Plains zebras, for example, live in small, family groups. Mountain zebras have larger groups with a dominant male leading the activities. Meanwhile, Grevy’s zebra herds change frequently with members of the herd dropping in and out depending on what’s needed. As an SME, it’s sensible to think this way, too. At some points you’ll need to expand your team, at others it’s wiser to simply buy in a bit of temporary support or outsource a specific need.
Zebras look out for each other
In the face of danger, zebras alert others with a high-pitched cry and overnight, take it in turns to stay awake and keep watch over the rest of the herd. (Aw!) If one zebra is attacked by a predator, others will form a circle to protect it. Like zebras, small businesses can find protection and the ability to grow by making links with others like them, forging bonds and paying it forward when we can.
Zebras are excellent communicators
Aren’t you always telling your sales people how important body language is? Zebras already know. As well as making noises, they communicate through facial expressions including moving their ears, and widening their eyes. If you see a zebra sticking their ears straight up and pushing their face into yours, that’s a zebra greeting. Don’t try this in a sales pitch, but you get our drift.
They’re happy to get into bed with others
Zebras have been crossbred with horses and other mammals to create ‘zebroids’ since the 19th century. We’re not suggesting you mix business and pleasure to <that> extent, but being happy to team up with other types of business in order to play to both your strengths is always sensible and very zebra-ish.
Zebras are dazzling
Yes, a group of zebras is known as a dazzle, and if we know one thing about SMEs it’s that they have to shine at all times.