While the COVID-19 pandemic ranges on (from the initial variant to the widely reported Delta variant), this has introduce a tectonic shift in the way how people work while causing an upheaval in the business world.
While large businesses continue to enjoy access to capital to stay afloat, small businesses tend to face further challenges, though government assistance (if any) may provide temporary reprieve.
Aside from that, employment rate soared and tapered off, though still remain alleviated, with a lot of people turning towards the gig economy (via e-hailing driver or food delivery) in order to sustain their lives.
Such fundamental changes (initial potential increase in supply of labour force, coupled with small businesses continue to take a hit), underscores the void that may exists between increasing professional workforce that would be able to offer services to businesses alongside growing small businesses' needs to remain nimble.
Roles Small Businesses Play
Per the report by Asian Development Bank (ADB), per their annual SME Monitor 2020 published here, below are some interesting figures shared (contribution by micro, small, and medium enterprises, 2010-2019):
- They provide the most job to countries in South East Asia, with an aggregate value of 69.4% to total employees
- Contribution to national GDP stood at 41.1%
- From access to capital (via bank loan), out of banks' total loan, the loan given to micro, small, and medium enterprises were circa 16.9%
Aside from providing jobs while contributing largely to the region’s GDP, small businesses are always the phase that all business will transition to prior to growing to a large business to realise their potential. Therefore, these enterprises are vital to any country’s growth at any point of time while their value may further be unlocked when market sees their true value (alongside their contribution to a country’s economy).
Like most businesses that either are at their infancy or stay at their infancy, such businesses do not have access to larger capital, unlike the bigger boys. Not to mention, more talented people would naturally get drawn to larger businesses due to perceived stability. These combination often cause problems of ‘big fishes’ encroach into area which ‘small fishes’ may reside (talent, government grants, etc.).
While small businesses may be nimble and there are solutions presented out there nowadays (be it CRM/ERP/accounting/payroll/sales & marketing), the fragmentation of solutions are astounding as well. Given the backdrop of these, no wonder some businesses bit the bullet and either pay a premium for a consulting company / one-stop service providers or go with the least, complicated implementation and stick to it with years to come.
With the importance of nano/micro/small businesses, coupled by the complications faced by them, how can they thrive within such globalised climate? Aside from the risk of being deprived of growth due to factors out of an entrepreneur’s control, how can such businesses achieve self-actualisation amidst all these?
Nano/micro/small businesses can consider to look for a service that is able to provide the necessary human capital/solutions to tackle their ‘backoffice’ needs to keep the business running while they can focus on what they do best, grow their business!
In addition, such business would be priced at an affordable level, providing a team of specialist outsourcing to address the business needs (e.g. sales and marketing). Furthermore, key solution areas such as payroll and accounting (one of the arteries in every businesses), will be included.
We aspire to give small businesses the right platform for them to thrive in order to compete in an imbalanced world.
That is the aspiration of Stack Office.