Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Note from the editor: This article was published in the blog Optimismo Digital (Digital Optimism) on the 18th October 2011 (In Spanish). The author, Javier Enrich (@xenrich, CEO at Advinci, co-founder at Home Staff and tucomercialonline.es) has been so kind as to allow us to publish it in ZyncroBlog.
Congratulations Javier on your article, for your advice and for the positive energy you share. We share this philosophy at Zyncro 100%!
3,300,000 SMEs in SPAIN. HOW CAN A COMPANY BE AN SME AND NOT FAIL IN THE ATTEMPT?
After having attended the launch of the new edition of MIB 2012 in Barcelona including talks by Juanjo Azcarate (CEO) and Javier Rodriguez Zapatero (Managing Director, Google Spain, Portugal), many refreshing ideas, many aspirations and in my case, the reason why I embarked upon a change a year ago.
Our MIB 11 promotional godfather Juanjo Azcarate provided a top-up of his positive energy through “no fear, no reluctance and no shame” and Javier gave a vision of the entire journey we had in front of us with a few relevant Internet figures for example there are 3,300,000 SMEs in Spain that could be converted into medium sized businesses.
I take a quick look back at my last 365 days during 2011-10 and as Steve Jobs (genius to many) said at Standford: “you only know the effects of good and bad decisions on your career when you take a look back”. A lot has happened to me in 365 days in all of its hours, minutes and seconds. I have developed many ideas, have failed in many others, have learned a lot and continue to do so but the feeling I get is more important…I feel like I am on a roll and do not want to stop until I make my dream come true.
Taking Javier Rodriguez Zapatero’s words into consideration about SME growth, I can understand my responsibility as an SME and that growing in size will also help generate more wealth for the country’s economy as well as provide stability for the system but I do feel that this is a difficult change to make in Spain and overall, I do not think that the politicians involved who can actually make this happen, are actually prepared to support it.
In order for an SME to grow in a hostile environment such as Spain, we should have the ability to convince the involved politicians to change (at least with regards to the following 5 points):
- Short term mentality. To be replaced with A STATE VISION (responsibility, rigor and work)
- They have never been entrepreneurs. To be replaced with ENTREPRENEUR (create initiatives to improve the system)
- They are idea killers. To be replaced with SUPPORTING PROJECTS with micro credits and other measures.
- They do not use small or local companies. To be replaced with BUYING Spanish and small companies.
- They pay little and late. To be replaced with SETTING AN EXAMPLE and abstaining from debt.
So what can we “SMEs” do and not fail in the attempt?
I do not have the answer otherwise I would be giving talks on TV but, these are my 10 points to work on:
- Work a lot more and work whilst others are having a break. I have not studied Chinese nor have I been to China but the chinese have lifted the country’s economy by working, amongst other things. I myself, do not like to work that much, I am exhausted but I need to keep working at full speed in order to survive.
- The first point is important but, making your dreams come true and working passionately is what delays recovery from exhaustion.
- If you fall, you pick yourself up. That is all. It has passed, do not give it a second thought. Thinking about it brings you to a halt. Do not allow your environment to swallow you up and do not be ashamed of having made a mistake. You have learned from it and next time, you will overcome it faster.
- Break the vision down and establish achievable goals and objectives. You are the first to jump into the new market. The only one who has visualised the whole journey is you. Your team is blind and needs to feel as though it is achieving its objective. It motivates you and your team.
- Developing your ideas quickly and counting on others to create your project in order to grow rapidly. If you settle for being small, the system will beat you.
- Support your business idea with all of the possible technology. Crowd-effort!!! Lean on othes.
- Communicate your project to others. Do not be afraid of sharing your idea with your friends and people you think may be able to help you, you will get there faster. They could copy it but it is a big world, there is enough room for everyone.
- Constant analysis and evaluation. There are not enough resources in a small company to produce sophisticated reports but this part is fundamental for constant improvement. Listen to people, clients and to your team.
- The world does not end with Spain nor with Europe, but it will not come looking for you.
- Growth will allow you to keep on innovating. If you are an entrepreneur and you enjoy entrepreneurship, grow in order to continue whilst others manage your previous projects.
One thing is certain, when you speak with other entrepreneurs you will realise that there is no secret. The answer to “where do you get the energy from?”, “how do you find the time?”:
Lots of work, more work, plenty of passion for good ideas and a brave face when times are tough.