Why many small enterprises continue to remain stunted

10th Jan 2018
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A burning desire to go beyond mediocrity and embrace the full spectrum of technological tools will elevate small enterprises into big, profit-making enterprises.

Some of the SMEs peter out in the first three years, and those that survive beyond the seven years prosper

Many small and medium-sized companies out there have been operating for decades but still, continue to be limited in their growth. While it is a good thing that they are still in business, it is also important to examine the company’s decisions and see if growth and expansion is possible. Conventional businesses undergo a transformation when technology is infused into their operations. Take companies like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Expedia and others... they were founded less thana decade or two ago. While they too were considered small outfits with scant resources even for operating expenses, they have now grown into mammoth, billion-dollar enterprises.

So how do some companies rise and make it big, while some other stagnate in the same situation for even half a century at times? I tried to understand the reasons and here is a summary of my findings:

Refusing to grow

Many SMEs refuse to grow. A child is cocooned in a mother’s love and father’s protection, but there comes a time when she becomes an adult and has to face the world alone. SMEs, especially though that have been passed on through generations, are prone to this syndrome: they don’t want to adopt new technologies or strategies to remain relevant in this world, they don’t want to take little risk at least for the sake of survival and, instead, choose not to rock the boat to remain safe and comfortable. However, what happens in this situation is that refusing to grow is making them not reach their full potential of going beyond being an SME.

Unwillingness to adapt

It’s quite understandable that SMEs don’t want to rock the boat, unwilling to charter a new path. But they must understand that adaptation is the ultimate survival technique, failing which it will become a question of survival. Unwilling to adapt is dangerous, at times leading the business to perish.

Unwilling to listen

Some companies are so comfortable with their status quo, that they are greatly put off by risk. In this case, they must be willing to listen to the mentor or expert. Being closed minded results in a very narrow view of the world outside, thereby missing out on opportunities to grow. Dalai Lama once said ‘Parachute and Mind works only when it opens’, otherwise we all know what would be the consequence.

Unwilling to try

There are small business owners who refuse to try new ways to get their business to a larger audience. They never want to grow, or adapt, content with the way things are.

One company was spending hours trying to solve a problem, but when we approached them to help them solve what they are struggling with, they listened but were not willing to try. If only they tried our solution it would effectively reduce time taken for certain tasks.

It’s okay to try and fail, but not trying is criminal, and can harm their growth and survival.

David vs Goliath

Eighty percent of the business out there are SMEs. Some of the SMEs peter out in the first three years, and those that survive beyond the seven years prosper. But beyond the time period, it is an agile mind that will take their company to the next level.

Facebook, Google, Amazon were once tiny companies with just a few people, but their sharp mind to listen, adapt, and try new things helped them achieve growth with the companies that were not only SMEs, even the multibillion dollar empires. Like the legendary sparring between David and Goliath proved, size doesn’t necessarily matter; it’s the openness to trying new things and willingness to adapt, and burning desire to grow that would make the SME graduate into a much bigger company.

This quote has been attributed to many people. Pls have author check.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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