Small Businesses Should Build Preparedness for a Crisis

A Malaysian entrepreneur is keeping busy these days with an innovative business strategy which has enabled her to improvise rapidly and produce surplus income. Ten years back, business started off on a slight survivor platform, Ms. Lim Siow Jin who started with a simple mobile phone stand in her kitchen. However, through hard work, determination and a dash of luck, she transformed that humble beginning into a flourishing business empire, today running over 60 mobile phones, selling not only hardware but also service, advertising and promotions.

Although a small business is virtually impossible to describe in words, it is a fair to say that the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep within every successful business, no matter what its size. Indeed, we live in the era of entrepreneurialism and business climate is highly competitive. Small business owners need to stand out and carve out their own space in the business ecosystem to survive. Whether they are starting up a new business or reviving an old enterprise, the key to success remains the same-find a good mentor, find a good business and market yourself aggressively.

Most new ventures will flounder because of poor planning, lack of resources and poor execution, factors that are magnified in a cluttered economy. Entrepreneurs face a very unique situation where their ability to focus and get things done quickly and efficiently is challenged by the fact that many businesses operate in a chaotic environment where there is limited human resources, limited business planning and a highly competitive business climate. In a fragmented economy, entrepreneurs are forced to work smarter to compete. There is an increasing trend of self-employment and home-based business, further fueling the entrepreneurial spirit. Starting a business has become a lot easier than ever, thanks to a strong economy and a supportive business environment.

In order to succeed in today’s global marketplace, entrepreneurs need to stay abreast of economic activity. They need to stay informed about tax rules, local and international policies, trade deals, investment trends, micro-business activities and mergers and acquisitions (or M&A). For those who don’t keep up with the local business news, they may miss out on emerging opportunities that could make their small business more profitable. Many entrepreneurs have the characteristics of being visionaries or dreamers-they see visions before others do. Others have the attributes of being highly organized and discipline-they can accomplish great tasks when the odds are against them.

Not all entrepreneurs possess these qualities, however. Many small business owners-especially small business startup-don’t know enough about the global economy to realize the opportunities that exist. In addition, some entrepreneurs tend to think outside the box. They seek novel solutions to problems. When the economy does not behave the way they expect, they tend to look for new approaches.

In dealing with a global crisis, many small businesses are rethinking their approaches. As a result, they are rethinking their strategies, as well. If they had prior knowledge of the pandemic, they might have considered a different approach. It’s possible that they could have developed a better plan, if they had known something about the global economics in the first place.

As a result, most entrepreneurs are well-educated, well-organized, and focused. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t have the necessary skills to produce a sustainable business. Because of this, they fail at making large profits and don’t see any potential for expansion. They don’t realize that they can expand a business by finding new customers, diversifying products, and increasing sales, which increases profitability. The better the business plan and the bigger the profits, the easier it is to expand.

Most small business owners face crises because of bad information. Some small business owners try to ignore a crisis, instead of learning how to respond to it. In the case of a global crisis, businesses should think long and hard about their own security, but should not allow the crisis to distract them from their business goals. The key to a successful business is its ability to grow, regardless of what is going on around it. If the business owner can focus on this, then he has a much better chance of survival.