Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Collaborating Small Business to Overcome Financial, Social and Political Constraints

Small businesses have a hard time competing due to financial, social, and political constraints on their resources. A paper by Evans (2013) explores the political dynamics and process of institutional change that underlines policy approaches that focus on modernizing small firms in Portugal. Their comparative-historical analysis helps show that successful industrial upgrading relies on intense and sustained political action led by leadership in an effort to develop benchmarks and proper implementation of financial strategy. 

Small businesses often lack resources to compete in a market dominated by better financed international companies. Payroll, financing, business, systems, etc… were not always updated appropriately. Small businesses also regularly failed to meet inappropriate legislation focused toward larger organizations leaving them unable to grow or develop.  

Other problems small business face is the legal and political structure of a country that focuses more heavily on larger industries. This structure can make it difficult for small businesses to meet regulations, export quantities, and other minimum standards. The lack of understanding of the needs of small business can have a long-term impact on the success of new entrepreneurial development. 

Small business can work in collaboration to build a stronger political voice that can impact the legal frameworks of a nation and encourage greater fairness in development. They may also work together to share resources such as payroll, financing, legal representation, etc… Sharing resources narrowed economies of scale advantages found in larger businesses. 

The study helps highlight how local and national governments must work together to ensure fresh development of industry innovation, new businesses, and stronger economic competitiveness. Small businesses will need to overcome their individualistic approaches and rivalry oriented strategies to create stronger collaboration that leads to social, economic and political transformation.  Leaders can encourage changes within the structure to ensure greater concern and competitiveness of small businesses development within their sectors that has an impact on economic development.  

Evans, A. (2013). Building institutional capacity: from pervasive individualism to sustained coordination in small firm sectors. Business & Politics, 15 (2).

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