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Blogi: Lauri Mähönen

At least 3 enablers to change the meaning of small and medium sized company

Small and medium sized (SME) companies are the fuel to future growth, at least if you read latest news past 10 years at least in Finland. Why SME? What is behind it? Let’s take a look of few dimensions behind the future fuel for economic growth.

# 1 – Company might be small but the entrepreneur is always BIG.

I attended once in a seminar targeted to leaders in all levels, different sized companies within various industries. One speaker had a speech around entrepreneurs and repeated several time beliefs around SME-companies. The next speaker started his speech by saying that entrepreneurs are all ways BIG, even though the company is small. This created huge applause. And can understand why. You always have to start from something. And when you start, you are big only in your dreams.

We have had some interesting discussion back at home similar to this topic. Why those people get better grades that do the lecture at the same day when they were given, than those who do the lecture just before it needs to be taken care of? Don’t wait, ACT!

Like Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100% of the shots you never take (see article in Forbes).

Credit: Wikipedia

# 2 -   Every company has operations

To be able to operate, you need to get money in to cover the expenses. To be able to sell, you need a product, perhaps production and customer service. There are over 500 000 companies which have active operations in Finland. Each of these has to have some kind of operating model.

But entrepreneurs are not experts in all fields. They want to focus on their dream, not to some boring operations, routines, bureaucracy etc. And if you think entrepreneurs as visionaries, you might also consider older or bigger companies as enablers them to succeed. Can established companies support, not only by self-service solutions, but also service for e.g. fixed fee. Yes, we have it in place for accounting, but what about marketing or sales in to large extent, even globally? There are over 200 million business contacts out there!

# 3 – You only grow when you believe it, whether you are small or big

Entrepreneurs believe and dream big. In most cases, they are the forerunners in their own field. And yes, they have the energy and dare to change existence.

Why people want to be entrepreneurs? According to study conducted in 2013 by Suomen Yrittäjät, at least three things arose: Independency, freedom and good possibility to earn. These people believe their story with every heartbeat. They are unstoppable with their dream and vision. A sense of self-efficacy explains entrepreneurial intentions and converts them into action. According to academic studies, people who have strong self-efficacy have greater effort to master a challenge. Is this possible also within BIG companies? Would this improve results of BIG companies? What can we learn from entrepreneurs? Answers still to remain…

Why people don’t want to be entrepreneurs? The same study reveals that the financial risk, lack of time, own capability to survive and responsibility are the key factors why people don’t want to be entrepreneurs. Is this a bad thing? Are de-entrepreneurs the opposite for future growth? To my understanding and experience, no. But these organizations or people needs to be in right places at the right times. Look to the future and learn from the past as people say.

So, should we change the acronym SME to something else? By looking it in the angles and questions raised above, could we say that SME is more like DREAM company? Think about it in the sense of a quote from famous hockey coach: The strength comes inside, there are no shortcuts, no room for free riders and everybody has to work to achieve what we want…

At your service,

Lauri


Lauri Mähönen

Lauri Mähönen on asiakkuudenhallinnan moniottelija.
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