Whether you run a small lifestyle business or a large designed-for-growth business, it’s very likely to be impacted by the technology revolution in some way or other. It can be easy to ignore, but we’ve all seen the impact of Uber on the taxi industry, AirBnB on the hotel business and Amazon on the retail sector. The fact that major High Street brands such as BHS, Woolworths and Debenhams all disappeared in quick succession highlights the vulnerability of businesses to withstand the social and technology changes that are sweeping across the world.
Leading a business through such unprecedented situations is very challenging as no one knows for certain where things will end up. However one thing is certain and that is things are changing fast. It’s critical to be at least conscious of changes and trends that are generally happening around you. Whether it’s a societal shift to more ecological sustainability or the fact that your local pub has closed down, it’s important to start recognising the signs and understanding the reasons. Even if your business is very stable and (currently) successful, taking lessons from what is happening around you is invaluable.
With over 80% of SMEs being under 10 employees and having no business plan, businesses could be far more at risk of failure than their owners realise. As a business leader, take a look at the last 10 years and assess what has changed at a societal level. Consider how social media has changed things, take a look at how job roles are changing and assess the impact of an ageing population on communities.
Governments around the world are avidly trying to improve their economies through productivity improvements. That means things like Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will become more prevalent.
Understanding this and other trends can help you to not only survive but thrive, in a new rapidly evolving environment. There are many opportunities associated with the changing situation. It’s now easier and cheaper to launch a digital business, connect with customers globally and upscale through seed funding and venture capital funds. Creativity is key to be able to identify the opportunities, vision the future and devise technological solutions to problems.
There is an extremely exciting situation emerging, which will create winners and losers. Ensuring you not only survive, but thrive, will come down to how your business responds to the challenge.
Guest Blog by Amir Hussain CoE (Chief of Everything) Yeme Architects