One of the most important spokes in the economic wheel of a country are the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). They keep the economy going by contributing in a small but significant way through income, employment opportunities, etc. They also create a conducive environment for bigger conglomerates to function in and develop the business landscape across the length and breadth of a nation. They also play a role in the growth of the nation because they cut through the traditional barriers, adopt new technologies and are bearers of innovative ideas that can pave the way for others.
However, SMEs face many challenges in this constantly evolving world.
How can they grow to become renowned international brands?
What are some ways to catalyse their growth?
Five simple ways that can help transform the journey of SMEs are –
- Supporting their growth
Governments have the power and resources to support SMEs by providing them with technical know-how, reducing taxes and procedures, helping provide access to markets nationally and internationally and tailoring financial assistance that can allow them to grow and expand.
- Boosting their confidence
When the atmosphere of support exists and entrepreneurs are encouraged to carry out their plans without many obstacles, the confidence boost enables them to create innovative solutions for the market. It also accelerates breakthrough ideas that can change the business landscape.
- Creating a suitable environment
When we say ‘suitable environment’, it involves healthy competition including worldwide players who can motivate SMEs to widen their horizons, look beyond their knowledge and stand out with great products/services. This can be achieved by providing adequate and high-class infrastructure, traditional and technical.
- Education and Scale-up Opportunities
Another important factor that allows SMEs to thrive in any country is the education system. Building an entrepreneurial mindset must be a comprehensive package that starts off at the school and college levels.
From finance management to customer service, from hiring to sustaining the business and quality control, offering these learnings to all age groups can be the secret behind a thriving SME ecosystem. Some scale-up programs even offer consulting, networking and mentorship opportunities to small and medium enterprises.
- Successful Digital Transformation
Let’s face it – audiences have moved to the internet today. Whether it is to get the house cleaned, order groceries or even shopping, everything can be called home. In such a scenario, it is crucial for SMEs to understand the power of this medium and make the shift.
Whether it is targeted marketing, engagement with the consumers or feedback collection, the internet gives you honest answers about your business. A new startup or even a middle-level enterprise can put these insights to use and provide better solutions. Facilitating this transition can be the government’s contribution.
With the right kind of planning and structural execution, SMEs can be given the push they need to catapult the country’s growth and position it among the best. The onus to make this happen lies on the government, leaders as well as the people of the nation. Right from the germination of an idea to its full-blown execution and scaling up, we can each play a role in nurturing the SME ecosystem.
By Mr. Vikram Kumar, Co-Founder & Managing Director, SRV Media Pvt. Ltd.