The new year brings new opportunities, and Export Portal’s expertise is just what you need to make the most of them
Another year has come and gone, which means another year’s worth of data on business has been collected and analyzed, ready for us to apply what we’ve learned as we move forward. Indeed, the International Council for Small Business recently published a report on the subject, putting forward a list of major trends they’re predicting will have the biggest impact on Small and Medium Enterprises.
Any entrepreneur would do well to familiarize themselves with this list, it could very well be the direction their business needs to succeed in the new year.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
Back in 2015, The United Nations set an agenda of actions its members agreed to undertake in order to create a more peaceful and prosperous world. At its core were 17 Sustainable Development Goals, things like ending poverty, increasing gender equality, and establishing safer communities. While major corporations like to toss aside some of their pocket change towards these causes when they’re in the mood for positive press, it is Small Business that truly contribute. SMEs create jobs for people of all kinds, allowing wealth and security to grow in areas that are otherwise ignored. From downtrodden neighborhoods to developing countries, Small businesses are the key to making the biggest changes.
Greater Access to Finance
As our CEO explained in her personal blog about investors, it takes money to make money. Small and Medium enterprises have historically had difficulty acquiring the necessary funding to build their businesses, but the future is looking bright. Not only are options like Angel Investing and Crowd Funding taking off in popularity and success, but many banking and governmental institutions are offering specialized loans and financial programs specifically aimed at SMEs. With so much capital to be had, the possibilities have never been better.
Attract New Workforce
Millennials are entering the workforce in droves, at least they would be if there were any jobs available. The “Great Recession” that started in 2008 may technically be over, but the effects are still being felt, and another such financial calamity seems to be on the way. As such, many millennials are wary of working for major corporations that are likely to lay them off in order to afford giving their board of directors those massive pay outs. Instead, many Millennials are turning to, and in several cases starting their own, small businesses. There’s a lot of talented people out there, hungry for work and ready to prove their talents, and SMEs are how they’ll make their mark in the new year.
Customize their Service to Make Full Use of Available Options
Amazon has Alexa and same day delivery. They may be facing controversy for issues related to these things, but the fact of the matter remains that they’re still widely successful, mainly because smaller business can’t hope to compete. That may sound depressing, but necessity is the mother of invention, and we live in a glorious age with all sorts of useful tools available to us. It’s up to Small Businesses to find new and creative ways to meet consumer needs, things that major corporations simply don’t or can’t do, in order to establish themselves in the market.
Like we said in the previous point, advanced technology is advancing faster by the day, to the point that we already take for granted that devices with artificial intelligence are for available for purchase. But as personable as these machines are programmed to be, they’re still incapable of replacing good ol’ human ingenuity, and that’s where Small Businesses shine. Not all machines are made to take away your jobs, most of them are useful tools for making your job easier and more efficient, but it takes human creativity to apply them that way.
Digitize Companies to Achieve Global Reach
Anyone involved in ecommerce or international trade should know the world is a big place. There are talented people in every corner of the earth, and digital technology allows their talent to shine beyond the borders of their home countries. Just as companies can reach out to customers around the world, business tools can also enable employers and employees from separate nations to work together as though they were in the same office building.
Emphasize humane tactics and business models
As we keep saying, those major corporations and their fancy machines may be powerful, but that power has come at a terrible cost. Their factories spew out pollution, their business practices mistreat the very people slaving away under them, and all so they can undercut the competition. Small Businesses are the shining light in these dark times, offering fair treatment and clean procedures that benefit the involved parties in particular and the entire world as a whole.
Navigate Trade Wars
When world leaders throw their tantrums, it’s all us little people who suffer from them shaking things up and stomping their feet. Major corporations suffer as well, but they have the resources to reinforce themselves, though there are plenty who are brought down by their own weight. It’s certainly not easy for Small Businesses to play when forces bigger than them are changing the rules, but by keeping up to date with the changes as they, by adapting their strategies and preparing for poor conditions, by working together with one another, we can still stay in the game.
Capitalize on the Next Generation
Those same millennials we mentioned before are more than just the next wave of workers, they’re also the next wave of consumers. They have specific interests, they have particular goals, they have values they hold dear, and they don’t want to go investing their money in people or products that don’t meet those values. Make sure you’re not just targeting these people in your job listings, make sure you’re targeting them in your marketing as well. Focus on meeting their demands in your business models, and they will focus on meeting your business goals with their patronage.
Belief and Hope
2018 was a rough year for many, and there are those who aren’t looking ahead with high hopes. Just one look at a news feed will show you how bad things have gotten, and more piles up every time you hit refresh. But we keep going, we keep trying, because that’s the only way things can hope to get better. Believe in the future of SMEs, and the impact they’ll have on the global economy will be worth it.
It’s an ambitious list, though it mostly highlights what the ICSB believes SMEs should focus on, not necessarily how they can go about doing so. Having a direction is always important, but without a means of getting there, the destination will always remain on the horizon. Fortunately, Export Portal is here to provide useful solutions on turning those predictions into achievements. Our verified members are granted access to funding, market insights, legal advisory, digital marketing, virtual tools, Freight Forwarding networks, and Community help. The kind of essential resources that would usually require years for a small company spend to accumulate are all available right from the start, so that entrepreneurs can focus on carrying out complex transactions, multi-party deals, and extended interactions, all while reducing the effort spent on low-value tasks.
With these essential tools and platform, Entrepreneurs from across the globe can engage in ecommerce with confidence and success for many years to come.