What the small and medium can learn from the cool and new

As Europe’s students sharpen their pencils and charge their tablets for the academic year ahead, it’s fair to say the following question wouldn’t challenge the next batch of aspiring business people.

Match the business types with the vehicles listed in relation to their speed and agility:

Start-up                                                                       Tank

SMB                                                                             Race car

Enterprise                                                                    Bus

A better (and more provocative) question would be: what can SMBs learn from start-ups in this ever-competitive digital age?

Start-ups are still in vogue. So are SMBs. That’s partly because the two groups are often bundled together with a single ill-fitting label. They share commonalties, of course – the ability to make decisions and move faster than enterprises, thanks to typically shorter approval chains and smaller hierarchies.

But given the waves of rapid and continuous change impacting all businesses, SMBs need to embrace the natural attitude of start-ups.

The ability to react quickly to market developments and evolve their business model to accommodate change as soon as it emerges gives start-ups the edge in the race to true agility.

The innovative start-up spirit remains a core characteristic of today’s most successful businesses, regardless of size. Just look at the hub-type divisions of household names such as Amazon. Imagine if Europe’s SMBs – the mid-market in particular – were to embrace this to the maximum alongside their natural appetite for growth and expansion. The result would be a new group of ultra-agile and ambitious companies that could revolutionise the business landscape.

SMBs have a golden opportunity to grow big by thinking small. The blueprint is there to follow – and for that we can thank start-ups.

For more information on how to grow your small business, contact our team today.

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