Why did I choose this tittle for my blog you ask?
I’m celebrating my first birthday as a consultant and I’m very happy about it! However it is not the reason for this score. Having worked for large companies for 22 years, and working as a consultant for the past year, I see a huge difference in cultures between SMEs and large companies, in terms of continuing improvement. Hence my score, SME 0, large companies 1.
For large companies, the constant improvement of processes and ways of doing things is at the heart of everyday life. Always improve and do more with less. Multiple performance indicators are in place and are an integral part of business objectives and employee performance appraisals and are increasing year after year.
For SMEs, what I have found is quite the opposite. Many think they have nothing to improve, there are no indicators in place, staff assessment is not done or barely done on these indicators and there is no improvement culture. Instead its “we have been doing things like this forever, why change?”
Why this difference? Give me your opinion on my blog. For my part, I think there are several factors. First is emotion. For an SME executive, they are the business, they built it. Putting into question their business is not easy and executives might take it personally. Secondly, there is the ego. It takes a lot of humility to admit that we do not do things well or that we can do things differently. How can someone from the outside know what is going on internally? Thirdly, knowledge. Many SME executives and employees who have had their business for a long time have unfortunately not seen anything else and therefore do not know that they can do better. Because we don’t know what we don’t know, it’s difficult to think that it’s possible to work differently to really improve problems.
In large companies, it’s just the opposite. You must perform, be better than the competition. Cut costs, staff. Increasing returns means increasing the value on the stock market. We are totally the opposite of the SMEs’ mentality. In large companies everyone knows that we can always improve everything, and that we must do it.
During this year of consultation, I unfortunately saw many SMEs tell me they have nothing to improve! It is impossible, there is always something to improve, just see it and be ready to question yourself.
Everyone knows the famous observation: 2/3 of SMEs close after 5 years. I have seen several SMEs in the last year that have been in financial difficulty for 1, 2 or even 3 years. It is only after these troubled years that they seek help. It is very unfortunate. Hence my blog title, SME 0 and big business 1. Do not wait to be in financial trouble to improve yourself! Start now!
Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to improve!