Past what?Does it matter? There are eternal business challenges, and a slow growth environment like we'll all face this year accentuates all the warts which can be overlooked with easy growth.
No matter what you might be inclined to look past, I'd suggest you instead look across, with vision.
I read this quote recently:
"long-term view lets us look out across…The operative word is ‘across’…and not ‘past it.’…’Across recognizes the reality of the risks and opportunities presented by the (market) in which we find ourselves. ‘Past’ suggests an ostrich-like approach of ignoring reality in the blind hope of an unrealistic outcome. ‘Across’ is enabling, while ‘past’ is disabling" Ed Easterling, Crestmont Research
It struck me as a wonderful metaphor for so much of what I hold dear in business strategy. There are things you can control, and manifold more you can't. While some of those which you can't are completely random and unpredictable, many, many can be observed, measured and anticipated...that is as long as you don't try to just look past them.
"Looking across" then, what do we see for SMBs in 2013?Challenges for sure, particularly for companies that pursue the same strategies they traditionally have. Certainly they'll tweak around the edges. Maybe ask the recent grad who "manages" social media to add a Pinterest account; or perhaps seek some technique training for their sales team.
But for companies that are bold and committed we see huge opportunities as markets ripen globally and technology creates enormous reach and egalitarianism between brands.
Before we go any further, though, the word "globally" is important. To parse one's market opportunities artificially with distinctions of "domestic" vs. "international", is to enormously limit potential. Identifying new vertical industry opportunities and pinpointing regional areas with supportive consumption trends should be fundamental strategic objectives for every company. The key is to really think globally, in both the literal and the figurative sense. Only then will nascent opportunities become apparent - and those are where breakout growth will be found. Incremental growth in a 1% GDP trend economy isn't what will propel SMBs!
2013 - year of SMB Global Business DevelopmentSimple to say, but it feels hard to do? Particularly when you are buried with routine crisis and priorities? I'll leave the time management tips and tricks to others. But certainly commitment - public, formal and substantiated with required resources - to bold strategic imperatives is a prerequisite.
But where should that commitment be focused?
Two broad foci provide the tracks upon which your initiatives can be based.
Combined, they foster:
- above trend growth
- fun (positive challenge) in business
- improved profitability
- engagement (management & employee)
More to come - stay tuned! Want more detail immediately? Contact us.