If you look at the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of SMEs from 2001 you may find something rather shocking – 53% of the stars of the last 10 year are no longer here. It’s tough but true – half of the winning companies you admire today are going to fall by the wayside in another decade – unless they embrace the innovation revolution.
Technology is driving things forward at such a pace that long-established business models are becoming obsolete before breakfast. The winners are going to be the ones who learn how to stay ahead and adapt.
This can seem daunting to many SMEs, already feeling beleaguered by a period of recession or slow growth. There’s a feeling that the very large companies have been using economies of scale and globalization as a shield to hide behind – but the truth is there is no hiding place.
Agility and flexibility are going to be the keys to growth for everyone and by acting more nimbly, innovatively and entrepreneurially than their larger competitors SMEs can score a win. They need to create a corporate culture that allows everyone to be heard and they need to use technology to play the larger companies at their own game.
There is a view that big corporations are gaining ground by using technology which is out of the grasp of most SMEs. But that is simply not the case – key developments like cloud computing and advanced analytics are accessible by all.
Mobility, big data and social media are the future for small businesses and will help to unlock change and transform the business landscape for SMEs.
There is no need to tie up capital by investing in new hardware since so many solutions are now hosted in the cloud making it affordable for everyone. This kind of cloud-based ERP software gives businesses much greater control over their processes and shines a light on their data – making it visible in a way that was simply not possible in the days of spread sheets and filing systems.
By looking to technology to solve their problems smaller enterprises are actually injecting a dose of rocket fuel, which could make the difference between staying on the Fast Track 100 and falling into oblivion.
This blog first appeared on the Ingenious Britain website.