Butterfly effect in business: Get a bigger impact from small decisions

Apr 05, 2024

Can you believe that a gentle butterfly flapping its wings can lead to something as big as a typhoon? That’s the meaning behind the butterfly effect.

The butterfly effect, in general terms, means that any trivial or minor action can lead to significant effects. Though this is a common notion, it can be well applied to the business ecosystem too.

To explain the butterfly effect in business, look at this example. A simple marketing effort might yield great results, putting the company ahead of the competition. 

There are many like this. But the effects won’t be positive all the time. Is it possible to apply this philosophy to business and make your small efforts work in favor of your long-term business growth?

Decoding the butterfly effect in business

Little things make a big difference. A customer will always remember the warm and friendliest treatment a salesperson offers. They involuntarily turn to promote that brand by spreading the word.

A brand with 100+ branches across the country where one employee's kindness has made it more noticeable. That’s how the butterfly effect in business works. 

Similarly, a small inconvenience caused to a customer or employee can turn against your business and ruin its reputation. All of these are just a few instances.

Then imagine the power of the accumulation of these actions and their outcomes. It can cause significant disruptions in your business and lead it to success or doom. 

That’s why astute business owners apply the butterfly effect to every management decision they make. They nurture every business relationship whether or not it makes any instant difference.  

Speaking of business principles, you must also think about the domino effect and its consequences. The domino effect is when an action or a cumulative effort can trigger a chain of events, which can be either constructive or destructive.

In the business environment, the catalyst of a domino effect can be a downsizing or M&A activity. This can impact the actual productivity, stock prices, sales, or even the brand reputation that took years to build.

How to induce the butterfly effect to help your business thrive?

In a place where everything is decided analytically, it can be hard to notice small changes and be vigilant of their effects.

But with subtle efforts, it is possible to apply the butterfly effect in global business management and reap benefits higher than intended. How?

1. Keep track of all your business practices

As a business owner, you are supposed to stay well-informed about your business practices and every little change you make.

If you are always in the know, you can observe and catch every little action that steers your business in a different direction. The sooner you realize something, the quicker your cope-up strategy can start working. 

Factors that aren’t considered but should be evaluated to minimize the butterfly effect are,

• How team managers treat their team members

• How communication goes with stakeholders and vendors

• How your customer feels buying from you

• What do your employees think about a new facility that’s introduced

• How inclusivity and diversity is practiced in your organization

• Any pattern that repetitively happens

• Not-so-important expenses that keep burning your wallet

Being detail-oriented always comes in handy while running a business. The demons usually hide behind these small things. You can curb the negative consequences that they bring about only if you track every small step your entity takes.

2. Navigate the ways to put your employees first

It's your employees who form the forefront of your business. They must be put first before anyone else. If they are taken care of, rest will fall into place.

Engaging with employees will lead to better productivity and service quality which leads to higher customer satisfaction. 

Companies following the ‘employee first’ culture also receive higher levels of loyalty where employees stay longer. Caring for employees is not just about paying them on time.

It’s giving importance to how they feel at the workplace, whether they are treated or fairly or not. If you follow these dedicatedly, you will sooner or later enjoy the advantages it brings along.

That’s how the butterfly effect in business helps you achieve stability and long-term goals achievement; because there can’t be a more trustworthy person than your employees who can align themselves with your goals and make it happen.

3. Leverage technology to better support your employees

More often than not, employees loathe their work when they aren’t equipped with enough tools and technology.

In the era of automation, we can’t expect employees to sweat their brows out and deliver good quality work in higher portions. That’s where technology can help them. It fastens their work and sharpens its accuracy. 

Thankfully, leaders of today understand digitalization and are keen to implement it across the organization. Especially if complicated areas like finance stack are automated, other teams get benefitted too as financing is simplified. 

Everyday tasks like expense reporting will be finished within seconds with the help of highly efficient systems. If you still keep the automation decisions in the pending stage, it’s time to act and show your employees how you value them.

4. Let your workers be as autonomous as they can be

New-age employees, no matter what their positions are like to enjoy their freedom when it comes to working.

They want to make their own decisions, deliver active participation, and enjoy a sense of ownership. All these qualities must be encouraged as it shows their enhanced morale and enthusiasm. 

Apart from setting flexible job roles, you can also guide them to handle their own business finances or their teams’.

Instead of relying on finance teams for everything, they can have their own corporate cards and make business online payments without waiting for authorizations.

It develops a sense of trust, and the fact that they are still monitored makes them spend sensibly. That’s how you empower your employees and track their work at the same time.

5. Putting employees before business profits

Butterfly effect in business works in ways you can’t imagine. When you make a business decision, you think thoroughly about the consequences. But what you can’t perceive might come true, conforming to this principle.

A simple solution to make this work positively for you is putting your employees and their financial concerns first before your profits.

Just a small error in payroll activity will delay their paycheck delivery. That can cause more damage to employees who plan their whole month expecting this.

If this keeps happening, your best employee will clear his desk and leave for good. 

Empowering your employees with monetary benefits goes a long way in retaining them and extracting the best from them. A simple payroll solution can do wonders for your workforce retention. 

6. Infuse wellness into the work culture

Other than financial stability, your employees’ physical and mental well-being should be your priority too. Them taking a break might hinder your productivity for now.

But they can come back with greater might and deliver more than expected. Establish a culture where employees don’t have to hide why they need a leave of absence. 

Other than altering your leave policies, you can also set funds aside for their health insurance. Establish work-related spending categories that can be reimbursed.

For example, an ergonomic home workspace setup or meal on the house when they extend shifts. When their financial requirements are met, they feel more valued and step up without being asked.

In addition to these amenities, furnish a technical stack from where they can manage all these.

How can Volopay help your business with managing business expenses?

A business can be an entity and be valued in currencies. But what it is constructed of is people who come together. It is your employees, suppliers, customers, and stakeholders.

How you treat them and take care of them decides how long they stay with you and what value they add to your business. 

As long as you keep monitoring these minute details and treat involved people the right way, your business will flourish despite rough paths and challenges.

And you can maintain the results of the butterfly effect in business to be positive or neutral. 

Create a long-lasting impression among your employees by getting them corporate cards from Volopay. With this, they can make work-related online purchases.

There is also an intuitive reimbursement system available for businesses to enforce expense policies. There are other payment tools too required to make local and international transactions.

The finance team can manage expenses centrally and at the same time give liberty to employees.

Get smart corporate credit cards to manage business expenses