The pressure is on to reduce overheads and sell more to face up to the impending rising production costs. Brexit is forcing small enterprises that sell business to business to look outside of their traditional stomping grounds and reach out to new markets. But how easy is it to change market? The answer has everything to do with internal processes and surprisingly, little to do with external forces.
Being successful at making the jump to foreign markets is primarily about producing better leaders faster and has little to do with ‘breaking’ foreign markets open The foreign markets are looking forward to dealing with you, but you have to speak their language, and it isn’t the language you think.
Small Welsh enterprises are facing a choice. To grow they either decide to tweak their existing organic processes or they decide to upgrade their organisational intelligence and management systems to enable them to ‘speak’ to foreign markets. The language small enterprises need to learn is Quality. This language is about communicating corporate openness, implementing management systems able to support high performing leadership teams, planning to mitigate risk, testing for resilience, listening to the customer and over-delivering with passion by design.
Putting in place the systems to enable you to speak the Quality language is easy. Deciding to do so can seem to go against the well-used platitude: If it ain’t broke why fix it. To this I would just reply with another platitude: If you want different outcomes, you cannot do things the same way. Brexit represents Darwinism in action. It is not the strongest small companies that will survive, it is those who will adapt the fastest.
Small businesses have a specific requirement to focus on cash-flow. This ever-consuming drive means that small business owners often do not actually understand the structural weaknesses of their business. As a result, they are not keen to dedicate scant resources at re-structuring systems which have served them well so far. And yet, this is the new language they need to get to grips with in order to grow. This will turn them from a successful entrepreneur-risk-taker to an entrepreneur-leader with global ambitions.
If Welsh small companies learn the language of Quality, they will soon be looking up, listening to others, looking around and they will take tough decisions. If it was easy, then all small companies will be growing. And not all will.