Small businesses adapting business models to global markets

5th July 2013 | News

An increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seeking to adapt their business models in order to cater to global markets, according to a recent study.
SMEs are also going toe-to-toe with larger firms by investing in technology to revamp day-to-day operations and improve overall efficiencies, says SAP’s survey of 2,100 executives from small businesses in 21 countries.
The report found 15 per cent of respondents already do business in six or more countries – a figure that is predicted to increase two-fold to around 35 per cent in the next three years.
Almost two-thirds of respondents confirmed that competition from businesses in other countries has increased substantially in the last two years. Unsurprisingly, global competition now ranks among the top three trends affecting SMEs today.
Global partnerships are also increasing with half of respondents confirming they are in the process of forming alliances with suppliers and vendors located outside their home markets.
Almost two-thirds of executives also confirmed that technological enhancements would be integral going forward in order to achieve longevity in their marketplace and enjoy sustainable growth.
Yet finding employees with the right skills to support such growth activities is proving difficult for some, with 39 per cent of respondents finding it hard to recruit the staff they need.
Eric Duffaut, president of the global ecosystem division of SAP, said:
"The overarching finding of the study was that successful SMEs are going outside of their home market to accelerate growth.
"And by doing so, they face fierce competition from large multinational corporations and more empowered customers in new markets.
"In their new international or even global landscape, business network and latest technology innovations are more and more required by SMEs to evolve their business models and effectively compete."