Is there really such a thing as the small to medium business (SMB) advantage?
Maybe, maybe not.
In recent years, rapid growth has created mounds of data which—far from serving better business decisions—actually insulate executives from suppliers, customers, and employees. The founding, preemptive advantage of SMBs—that executives are closer to the action—has dissipated under the crushing weight of data silos.
The other traditional SME advantages—greater agility, leaner infrastructure, smaller bureaucracy, tighter customer intimacy—are all falling prey to the incursion of the big players into the SMB market space, and the impact of regulatory compliance.
Along with the personal advantage once enjoyed by SMBs, the home advantage is also gone. Globalization is imposing itself onto the SMB strategy. After all, even if you do not intend to compete on a global scale, your competitors on the other side of the world beg to differ—and they’ll be in your back yard soon enough to prove it. Competition can come from all corners, and you can no longer count on the protection of operating in a small, hometown market.
Thus, the first order of business for today’s executives is to find and execute a solution that will enable them to reclaim the SMB advantage.
What do you think? Was there ever an SMB advantage? If so, has it gone up in the smoke of globalization?
Let me know—I’m looking to write an article on whether or not SMBs are ever going to be able to leverage enterprise software to achieve a level playing field, and would be happy to incorporate reader thoughts.