A commentator in a Himalayan publication was saying that we have modernised today not only with technologies but with our thoughts too. The commentator gave several examples where thinking had changed including in education and the workplace.
How have you modernised your thinking when it comes to entrepreneurship, start-ups and small business?
Are you using the same style of thinking that you used several years ago?
Do you find it difficult to change?
In recent times because of changes in technologies such as the Internet and mobile devices we have seen an increase in small business and more people working from home. Basically what happened is that we have moved from an industrialised economy where jobs were more plentiful in commerce and industry to a service-based economy where jobs are created by individuals and are more dispersed.
Years ago people would mainly work for large companies and public institutions but now the small business and entrepreneurial way of life has become more acceptable and accessible. Many jobs have migrated from the large organisations to smaller businesses which provide support services. Even though a company may not have a function such as public relations or communications, for example, situated in their organisation, they will still need those services and can outsource them. This, of course, depends on the nature of the business and what is critical to the company.
In the small business field, new thinking such as the lean-start up and the minimum viable product gives would-be entrepreneurs access to methods of forming a new businesses that they may not have had in the past. With the many small businesses now in existence, other small businesses can tap into these ventures for a number of services. You don’t necessarily have to have your own public relations, finance, human resources, and even salesforce located in your business – you can access super suppliers to do the work for you.
But diffusion of innovation is something that takes place over a long time. People naturally resist change and are often suspicious of new methodologies. If you look at something like the quality movement, you will see that it took decades for some companies to take quality seriously and implement quality management systems. The same type of slow movement is taking place with the lean start-up thinking which will take longer for it to diffuse into small businesses on a large scale.
The thing about change is that we need to not think about it as big steps but to move forward by starting with small steps. We also need to acknowledge that things cannot be the same as they were years ago. As the commentator mentioned, there is so much happening around us today that we need to be more informed and discover more. Technology can provide us with breakthroughs but we need to revolutionise our own mindsets to modernise our thinking about start-ups, entrepreneurship and small business.