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Small Business Owners Should Be Less Independent

interdependenceSmall business owners are a pretty independent group. In many cases, that independent streak is what sparked their drive to business ownership in the first place.



The most successful entrepreneurs see things that others don’t. They’re independent thinkers and it has served them well.

But there’s something that we must always remember:
What worked yesterday may not work today.
What works today may not work tomorrow.

A dangerous combination or an opportunity?
Independence worked yesterday. But the world has changed. The business world is more complex. At the same time, things move faster.

More complexity combined with speed – it could be a dangerous combination. Or it may spell opportunity.

Large companies hire specialists to deal with the complexity. Small businesses can’t afford to do so.

Small businesses can move fast. Large companies have more bureaucracy. People must cover their rear ends. So it’s difficult for them to move fast.

A changing paradigm
The buzz around Web 2.0 tends to be about social media. The buzz about social media tends to focus mostly on marketing. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are trying to understand how to use these new tools to increase sales.

It’s yesterday’s trap.

Savvy small business owners don’t put their primary focus on sales. They focus on profits. Yet if you listen to bankers, you’ll hear them say that very few of their small business customers talk about the bottom-line as well as the top-line.

Small business owners who understand Web 2.0 can gain a competitive advantage. And it goes beyond marketing with social media. It begins by understanding a new business model.

Learning to be interdependent
Yesterday’s business model was independence. Today’s business model is interdependence.

Interdependence is a higher order. It relies on a greater level of maturity. It’s essential for small businesses who want to thrive today.

It’s all about collaboration – working together to deal with the complexities more successfully, working together to move even faster. Web 2.0 tools make it easier to collaborate than ever before.

Small businesses can also find ways to band together to gain access to specialists they couldn’t afford on their own. Social media makes it easier than ever to find these people.

Large companies are collaborating more than ever, in spite of their teams of internal specialists. Small business owners have to give up independence for a higher order – interdependence. It’s the path to BIGG success!

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(Image in today's post by kikashi)