fortune 500 companies

5 Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn From Fortune 500 Companies

When you think of the term Fortune 500, what comes to mind? Characteristics likely include wealth, success, business strategy, and any number of other positive attributes that most companies would be happy to have under their belt. 

Simply put, the Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled by Fortune magazine of the top 500 public and private companies by total revenue, and has been a long-standing benchmark that many businesses use as a measure of success. It’s fathomable that many smaller organizations might look to these moguls for inspiration and guidance when forging their own path.

So, what exactly makes a Fortune 500 company, and what are some consistencies between all of them? There are crucial best practices that apply to all companies, regardless of size. What’s even better is that they can be very attainable, no matter your current standing! 

If you are looking for some lessons that small businesses can glean from Fortune 500 companies, keep reading. 

Efficient and Streamlined Processes – Email Templates, Standardized Workflows and more!

One of the most valuable lessons small businesses can learn is the power of productive processes. While smaller organizations tend to have more operational freedom and flexibility, it is undeniable that having uniform procedures is one of the most important factors in maximizing profits!

Having processes in place across all facets of an operation should be a top priority for just about any business, big or small.

Do you send out many similar emails per day? Template those puppies (think 5-10 templates) and a 10-minute effort drops down to 3. If you send 50 emails a day, you’ll save yourself over 20 hours a week!

Another way to standardize is via apps like Calendly, saving ample back-and-forth scheduling time and potentially missed meeting opportunities.

Also consider looking into your onboarding practices. There are many platforms that facilitate successful onboarding! However, even without being backed by tech you can look at practices such as having a single location where you store new employee documents, pre-establishing a training method for onboards, a clear list of set-up requirements and first week expectations. Not only will this save you tons of time, it will also increase employee motivation and get them working faster!!

Organization –  aka “ATS Software”

Did you know that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system? While it is just one component of an efficient recruiting process, it certainly says a lot that nearly every single one of these highly lucrative and successful companies all use staffing and recruitment software to help with their hiring decisions.

Although many small companies use applicant tracking systems as well, not all ATS’ are built equal. Mindscope’s applicant tracking system offers a plethora of useful tools to source, place and retain better candidates, faster. A powerful ATS will also help you provide those candidates with a more enjoyable work experience.

Taking the time to find the ATS system that works best for you is critical to your business growth! Check out our “Feature Checklist” to help you make the right call.

Quality of Employees Matters – Key Traits = Teachability and Ambition

The result of rigorous hiring practices? Top-shelf employees; and that doesn’t just mean people who are the most qualified or experienced. Finding the best fit in terms of personality, culture, goals and soft skills is something that Fortune 500 companies’ value very highly. Holding out for employees with critical qualities such as teachability and ambition (beyond a university degree) can lead to higher retention rates, higher profitability, a more attractive brand reputation and increased job satisfaction. 

Making sure values among employer and employee are aligned is perhaps the most essential factor in building a strong team. Smaller companies may be inclined to quick hiring without vetting employees, which can lead to lower productivity, higher turnover and an imbalance workplace culture. And according to the Fortune website, workplace culture is one of the most important factors that differentiates successful companies in a tight labour market. 

Incentives and Perks Go a Long Way – RETENTION = Time and Money Savings

Of course, not every small business has the financial ability to provide perks like limitless gourmet food a la Google or fully reimbursed gym memberships like Microsoft. However, there are many perks that are entirely within reach. These will make your employees feel valued and incentivized to perform at a higher caliber. Especially in this climate – hello 2020 – making sure your employees know they are appreciated has never been more important. 

Offering creative and relevant perks to an evolving professional reality is crucial, especially as we continue to ride out the COVID-19 wave, which has created an upswing in remote workers. Figuring out what your employees want – and more importantly, need – will benefit everyone in the end. 

The remote work era has forced companies to get creative with their benefits and has spawned some unique perks for their WFH staff as a result. Some of those offerings include:

  • At-home fitness equipment and wellness packages
  • Free food delivered regularly to their homes
  • Training and professional development courses
  • Discounted internet and phone bills

Looking Ahead – Take Risks… but Keep it Calculated

Many Fortune 500 companies have been around for many years, allowing them to benefit from a wide range of staff and experiences. Increased financial freedom has also empowered these companies to take the time to plan based on previous industry trends, patterns, as well as trial and error. Any high-level CEO would likely agree that looking ahead and strategizing for the future is the key to longevity.

It can be easy to get caught up in the moment. However, having a clear focus and vision for the future of your company is vital from both the management and employee standpoint. According to research conducted by Kinsey that surveyed over 600 public companies, operations that were managed for long-term performance not only earned more market capitalization over a 13 year period, but created an average of 12,000 more jobs in a similar time-frame, compared to their short-term peers.

When everyone is clear on the long-term goals of the company (and importantly, their part in achieving these goals), ongoing financial success is much more attainable. Also, being willing to adapt to customer needs and shifting professional landscape ‘future-proofs’ your company. Rethinking past strategies, identifying and managing risks, and following industry trends are all ways to position your company for continued progression.


Mindscope is committed to providing our customers, big or small, with the tools they need to thrive in an ever-changing professional environment. Our brand new UI/UX is here – you can try it for free today by clicking here.