Friday, November 04, 2011
I first became aware of globalization as a phenomenon about ten years ago, when it started popping up regularly in strategic objectives handed out by corporate headquarters. However the idea of globalization isn't exactly new, it been going on for a long time, it's just that recently with the availability of the high speed internet in every corner of the world its evolution has rocketed ahead.
Until the last few years globalization of the world economy has almost entirely benefited large multi-national corporations, who could afford to put in place the infrastructure and organisation required to control their markets around the world.
The latest web developments like social networking and social commerce are starting to provide smaller businesses and individuals with the tools they need to operate globally. It's never been easier to 'go global' and there is a new category of business emerging referred to as the 'global small business'. Their size makes them nimble and their ability to embrace innovation quickly will be their main advantage when competing with the giant multinational corporations.
On their own a small business or even a global small business will not seriously challenge the big incumbents, who will resort to all sorts of tactics to keep control of their markets, for example leveraging their press and government relationships in support of their business interests.
Small businesses must collaborate to compete effectively and the basis of good collaboration is great communications, a common purpose and trust. Open and available global business networking platforms like ecademy meet some of the needs, but there are still gaps in the armoury especially when it comes to delivering the business, ecommerce systems that work globally are very expensive and complicated to install and outsourcing commercial processes to a managed service provider may lead you back into the arms of a large multinational, who will only be too pleased to take a slice of the precious margin.
The unashamed mention for my new business venture gotradelive is that we are helping to equip small businesses with some basic commercial tools that will help them trade more efficiently and remain in control of the process all within their own private networks.
I recently invested some time listening to the new MD of ecademy, Daniel Priestly, talking about the new direction he is going to take the business. Reinventing the 'e' in ecademy to mean 'entrepreneur' academy is inspired and I wish him well. The massive majority of entrepreneurs are responsible for starting and running small businesses and they will need all the support they can get and we all need them to be very successful.
Successful entrepreneurs will mean a dynamic and growing small business market sector, which will drive the economy and employment forward. As SMEs represent most of the wealth generation in every country their success will lead the global economic recovery. On this basis one would imagine that support for entrepreneurs and small businesses should be at the forefront of every government policymakers' mind when they are contemplating their challenges, let's hope they are not drowned out by the vested interests of large multinational corporations.