Is Growth the New Survival?
The pandemic of the century has upended several notions about business. The new normal may mean growth is a necessity for small firms.
When you think of small companies, you might picture 10 people cramped in a small room and an entity barely earning a few thousand dollars of revenue per year.
Well, some of them rise do end up becoming large corporations. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM — all were once micro enterprises.
Unfortunately, a majority of small firms simply stay where they are for years, not because of failed strategies but probably because of complacency.
In my little experience of over two years working with small vendors and suppliers, i noticed that a lot of these tiny firms are vulnerable due to this mindset.
You’d regularly find the owners or managers of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) speak about how being small meant “humble”, “nice” and “cool”.
They take pride in being a small business and were often content in playing the tiny game. They glorify their decades long struggles in keeping the company afloat.
But what they didn’t tell you or what you probably didn’t know is this.
The small firms we spoke of are often the first casualties of a calamity.
As their businesses revolve around generating just enough cash flow to keep themselves afloat for the next day or week, a pandemic the scale of Covid-19 has the potential to wash them away. Forever.
Having a firm that has been small for decades at a stretch is simply unsustainable.
You either scale or perish.
Survival of the fittest, right? Staying static and where you are is not considered nice anymore.
Earlier, the term survival meant the ability to get by or make a living with few resources.
But with the volume of disruption in technology, environment and life we are witnessing at this time in our lives, merely making ends meet may not always be enough.
What these companies need is a growth mindset. Think of growth 24x7.
No point just hoping for the best and doing the same thing over and over again for dozens of years.
The governments are not always going to help, technology will change and life will evolve.
Unless the SMEs prepare for a crisis in advance or learn to pivot fast, most of them aren’t going to be around.
Unless they shun traditional and old ways of doing business, they would barely make it past the next year.
Unless they are flexible, versatile and adaptable to the new era of dynamic consumer behaviour, they would likely go downhill sooner than later.
In the modern world post the pandemic, growth would be necessary to survive. Just like people rise up in their lives and eventually make it big. enterprises must also do so.
Small companies that adapt to this ideology would make it past the line while those reluctant to part old ways would be left out.
“Stay hungry to grow, stay foolish to believe” is the mantra for SMEs.