It used to be the case that if you really wanted to get on in life, you would work for an institution, either in the private sector or in government, and get up the ladder fast. There is no doubt the world is changing, but our latest survey suggests an incredible shift in the way people are thinking about the best paths to success.
In recent years, the number of people working for institutions has literally been thrashed, with numbers down by over 70% in some organisations. That, of course, doesn't bode well for someone coming onto the job circuit, looking for a career at the top end!
In a similar survey about 2 years ago, we found that a lot of people in institutions, facing ruined prospects and bonuses, had largely decided that working for large SMEs was probably the route to the future. Indeed, at the time, many people moved to large SMEs. The Boutique businesses, of whatever kind, became quite fashionable companies to work for.
Now, just another 2 years on, there's been another shift in thought. We've constantly reported our thoughts of how small businesses are likely to be the saviours of the economy. We even predicted the growth in numbers of SMEs two years ago.
Our latest survey showed an overwhelming desire for those stuck in institutions to start their own businesses! Asked what sector it would be in (because that's institution talk), the answer is even more amazing. Anything! They have ideas and plans, but there is no consistency on what they want to do. It could be a garage, jewellery shop or anything: you name it.
In our recent survey, as a follow-up to the previous one, we also asked if people considering leaving an institution would move to an SME: there was an amazing swing to no. Asked why, and it was largely because people couldn't see SMEs growing sufficiently, and that they were better off working their own business. If the shrinking of small businesses was backed up by any material evidence, the alarm bells for the whole business community would be tolling. There is no current evidence of small businesses shrinking any further, thankfully.
Institutions are, of course, downsizing across the board, even supermarkets. There are stories of it in nearly every paper you read. And it means vast changes for the business landscape.
More importantly, it means that there are amazing opportunities for SMEs, because their marketplace expands every time an institution contracts or collapses. The same customers are there, the same money is there, but there is no longer large 'trustworthy' institutions to supply their needs. That means there's a void in the marketplace for small businesses to reap. And it's not an offer – it’s something you take – it’s yours, if you want it.
We also predicted the rise of the cottage industry at the beginning of the recession. And that's kicked off, not least because it's become too expensive to acquire a high street shop. So more and more people are working from home.
Size of business isn't relevant when it comes to the notion of small businesses filling the voids left by slowing institutions. In the norm, supplying a service isn't about size: it's about capability and communication. And if size does come to play, then the answer there is to partner with other businesses. Chalestra saw a partnership of 6 banks enable a £4 trillion deal. Can't even picture that much cash! Chalestra did the communications: it was about 4 years ago.
So, if Chalestra can partner up to make things work, so can you!
Call Chalestra for communications and strategic support.