A futurist predicts what’s next for small business

Get ‘future ready’ now is the message for small business.

At a Telstra Business media roundtable with futurist Ross Dawson he spoke of the Gap widening between high and low performing business. Dawson urged small and medium businesses to get ‘future-ready’ now.

“The rise of the network economy has been enormously beneficial in many ways, however it has accentuated the gap between winners and losers, for both individuals and businesses. The smaller companies that are at the heart of Australia’s economy need to use technology well and actively engage in the network economy, or risk being left behind,” says Dawson.

There is an increasing divergence in company performance across the board, even more prominent in small to mid-sized companies than large corporates. One of the key drivers of this divergence is that in a network economy relative performance – both positive and negative – is amplified.

He adds, “There is an increasing divergence between the performance of the best small businesses in Australia, and the performance of the many companies that are being left behind.”

We know that innovation and the effective use of technology are increasingly important drivers of the relative performance of companies. For every new challenge for Australian SMBs introduced by the rapid development of technology, there is a corresponding opportunity – companies’ success is being driven by their ability to take advantage of these technologies

The long-held advantage of size of large companies is now being supplanted by the advantage of nimble smaller companies that can now use inexpensive technologies to get to market and rapidly scale. Also, the increases we have seen in individual income and business wealth inequality in Australia and globally over the last decade are being driven by the same forces of a networked world.

“The tide has turned. As powerful technologies become far more accessible and easier to implement, nimble smaller companies are now often able to compete with and outmanoeuvre large corporates that simply cannot keep pace, says Dawson.

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