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Small Business Success Lessons from the Animal Kingdom


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What can a squirrel teach a small business owner about financial management? Everything.

A successful small business owner looks everywhere for knowledge on how to run their business better. And with the right perspective, everything can be a source of knowledge, even the animal kingdom. Uncovering ‘rock star’ tips from animals isn't a challenge, you just need to know how to interpret the data.

We found 17 animals and shared the skills they use for survival into tips every small business owner can use for success. Check out the slideshow for a amazing list of tips for vision & strategy, financial management, workflow operations management, people management, and customer management.

To learn more about how to make the most of Specialty Answering Service for your small business, visit us at, or follow us on Twitter at @SpecialtyAnswer.

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Small Business Success Lessons from the Animal Kingdom

  1. 1. by Specialty Answering Service Success Lessons for the Small Business from the Animal Kingdom
  2. 2. Vision and Strategy
  3. 3. Don’t Get Disheartened by Tough Beginnings – It Can Build Robustness to Survive Future Shocks A new born giraffe is kicked repeatedly by its mother in order to help it to be able to stand up and run within an hour of being born. This helps a new born giraffe to learn rapidly to survive among its predators in the wild.
  4. 4. Transformation Maybe Painful But Essential for Growth The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is one of the most exquisite phenomenon's in the insect world. However, when a caterpillar metamorphoses itself into a beautiful butterfly, it has to first digest itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues.
  5. 5. Have a Bold Vision For Your Business and a Bird’s Eye View of the Industry Landscape Eagles’ eyes have a million light-sensitive cells per sq. mm of retina, 5 times more that of a human’s. This gives eagles extremely keen eyesight and enable them to spot even well-camouflaged potential prey from a very long distance. Some eagles can spot an animal the size of a rabbit up to two miles away! Source:
  6. 6. There are No Shortcuts to Ongoing Success When you watch ducks, it looks as though they are smoothly gliding along the surface of the water with very little effort.  However, a closer inspection reveals that they are paddling hard under the water to get where they need to go.
  7. 7. Financial Management
  8. 8. Plan Your Cash flows and Save Up for a Lean Spell Squirrels collect and store nuts in autumn so they'll have food to last through winter. That thriftiness benefits the squirrel, just like diligent cost management will benefit your business.
  9. 9. Be Prepared and Never Lose an Opportunity to Make a Sale A spider painstakingly builds a web and waits for its prey. The moment an insect gets caught in any part of the web. The spider feels the motion and briskly makes its way to the vibration source. In this manner, the web extends the spider's sensory presence over a much wider area. Source:
  10. 10. Workflow/Operations Management
  11. 11. Optimize the Speed of Every Transaction – Run Like a Cheetah The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, reaching speeds of up to 113km/h. They can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds. Source: animals_a_z/cheetah/
  12. 12. Have the Memory of an Elephant – Measure, Record and Improve Workflows Elephants are among the world's most intelligent species. They are well known for their amazing memory. With a mass of just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains have more mass than those of any other land animal. Their brain is similar to that of the human brain in terms of structure and complexity. Source:
  13. 13. People Management
  14. 14. Lead Your Employees with a Common Goal and Motivate Them to Work Towards it in Unison A wild herd of horses is led by the alpha mare who is familiar with the terrain and resources available. She determines the route when the herd moves between locations. Higher-ranked members of the herd are followed by other herd members. Source:
  15. 15. Encourage a Culture of Knowledge Sharing Humpback whales are known to learn songs from each other, as well as share feeding techniques that allow them to survive better in a changing ecology. Source: 1112831807/humpback-whales-learn-from- each-other-042613/
  16. 16. Prize the Rare Bird in Your Organization As the population of Mountain Blue Birds have started dwindling, many breed in artificial nest boxes, which tend to be situated in more open areas and have smaller openings to keep out marauders and bad weather. Construction of nest boxes in suitable habitat has also provided a population boost.
  17. 17. Customer Management
  18. 18. Have Impressive Marketing Collateral: First Impressions are Crucial to Win Clients Both males and female parrots are attracted to those who have the most brightly colored plumage, which glows by absorbing ultra violet light.
  19. 19. Unleash Your Creativity and Have a Unique Feature That Differentiates Your Offering from Competition The most elaborate courtship display in the animal kingdom is that of the bowerbird. These birds build complex structures to impress their females, some males will decorate their nests using twigs and shiny objects, while others will fill their nest with blue items. Source:
  20. 20. Customize Your Products and Services to Suit Your Client Needs The Tungara frog bellows loud croaks to attract a mate. Females choose males on the basis of the best calls - which, may not always be the loudest or the deepest. Each female prefers a unique sound. It's up to the males to try to find the perfect pitch to seduce her. Similarly, successful businesses customize service offerings to suit client needs. Source: Valentines-Day-ideas-The-lessons-courtship-learn-animals.html
  21. 21. Listen To What Your Customers are Saying Elephants use not only their ears but also their trunk and feet to listen. They can hear frequencies twenty times lower than us.   Their exceptional hearing ability helps them ‘tune into’ things such as thunderstorms and helps them to be the first animal to move towards rain. Source: best-sense-of-hearing-in-the-world/
  22. 22. Don’t Make the Sale and Vanish: After-sales service is Key to customer-retention and reputation. Among seahorses, it is the male who gets pregnant. Once the male is pregnant the female stays by his side until birth, visiting daily to ensure that he will continue to protect their eggs. Source: 14-lessons-in-love-from-the-animal-kingdom
  23. 23. Offer Creative Freebies and Offers to Your Most Valued Customers to Retain Them for Life Many species exchange gifts to attract a female as part o their courtship display. Among penguins it is common for males to collect pebbles to give to females to fill nest rings with, this helps keep the eggs and chick up off the ground. Source: picturesoftheday/8356767/Pictures-of-the-day-2 -March-2011.html?image=24
  24. 24. Photo Credits Slide 3: Giraffe: By John Storr (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 4: Butterfly: By Kenneth Dwain Harrelson [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 5: Soaring Eagle: By Thimindu Goonatillake from Colombo, Sri Lanka (Soaring High Uploaded by snowmanradio) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 6: Falcated Duck at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Gloucestershire, England.�Taken by Adrian Pingstone in February 2004 and released to the public domain Slide 8: Red Squirrel: By Pawel Ryszawa (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 9: Spider Web: By Gnissah (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 11: Cheetah – Credit: Slide 12: Elephant - By Yathin S Krishnappa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 14: Running Horses: by TNS Sofres [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Slide 15: Humpback whales: By Whit Welles Wwelles14 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 16: Mountain Blue Bird: By Elaine R. Wilson (NaturesPicsOnline) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 18: Colourful Parrot: By Tobias [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 20: Tungara Frog: By brian.gratwicke (Tungara Frog Engystomops pustulosus) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 21: Indian Elephant: By Thomas Schoch [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons Slide 22: Pregnant Seahorse: Slide 23: Penguins:
  25. 25. 1-888-532-4794 For receptionist support for your small business, contact us: Thank you for reading!