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The Ultimate Disrupter – Why Small Businesses Are The Most Powerful Force in Business

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The Ultimate Disrupter – Why Small Businesses Are The Most Powerful Force in Business

Small Business is an underestimated force to be reckoned with. Yet the identity attached to Small Business is one of virtual insignificance. The vast majority of all businesses are in the Small and Medium Business category, they make up half of Australia’s employment and account for a third of its production. What if Small Businesses started to realise that there are more of them than Big Businesses? What if Small Businesses started to throw their weight around? How might things be different?

There is untapped potential in the leaders who are the founders and CEOs of Small Businesses. Being small can have it’s advantages, especially as the future of work relies on flexibility and resilience. Smaller organisations are far more able to adapt to change than larger ones. As a Small Business, use this to your advantage. What could you do if you leveraged your agility and flexibility? Try different things, make decisions promptly and implement new approaches and see what works.

In the early days of my business, my coach said to me, “Go where the energy is”. At the time, I was trying really hard to make something happen and was coming up against all sorts of obstacles, whereas another area of my work that I wasn’t putting much effort into was flowing rather easily – so I made a decision to stop pushing a snowball up-hill and put more energy into the aspect of my business that seemed to be going well. I didn’t need to consult anyone or send a proposal. I simply changed my focus because I saw the value in it.

As Small Businesses we can do this, we can adapt to change and sometimes we start businesses in response to changes in the market. This is important to pay attention to and an important point of difference as disruption becomes a daily occurrence.

A study at Olin Business School at Washington University predicted that 40% of Fortune 500 Companies are likely to go out of business in the next 10 years. These companies simply won’t be able to adapt or respond quickly enough and will be disrupted by start ups with fresh innovative ideas. When you consider the ramifications of this, there’s hope for small, innovative, adaptive businesses, now more than ever.

Imagine if the identity of Small Businesses began to shift in recognition of the powerful market force that we are. It’s time to stop looking to big corporates to shape the direction of the future of business. Imagine what might be unleashed in the market, the economy, and even in society.

We are already starting to see subtle shifts especially with the democratisation of information via social media. There is a move toward a new way of doing business, one that is less about stakeholders and more about solving real problems for real people. Using business for good is a growing trend, especially among millennials.

Businesses that are purpose-driven, value innovation and intend to drive disruption, can succeed where others have failed. Being crystal clear on the problem you solve, and that problem being linked to social good, can also be an advantage in these challenging times. It’s time for Small Business to recognise its power, that it is leading the way and to harness the significant clout that lies dormant in our midst.

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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Showing 4 comments
  • Bronwyn Baird
    Reply

    Thanks Tathra for the great article. This is something I have a passion for as well, particularly along the lines of SME’s having to ‘fit’ to the large organisation model. This is no longer the case and it is great to see movements like B Corps, Shared Value, Conscious Capitalism and B Team that are slowly changing the the way business is done. SME’s are now having a far greater impact than previously seen and I’m keen to see this happen more and more. I’m particularity interested in the study that predicts 40% of Fortune 500 companies will go out of business. Would love to see what the predictions are for SME’s?

  • Tathra Street
    Reply

    Every Fortune 500 company started as a small business. I believe those that don’t survive this disruptive time will be replaced by SMEs.

  • Rosemary
    Reply

    ‘Being crystal clear on the problem you solve, and that problem being linked to social good, can also be an advantage’. Absolutely.

  • Tathra
    Reply

    Thanks Rosemary, Glad you agree!

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