Succession planning… The ANZ bank has identified something which, with a bit of thought was probably obvious anyway. The current generation of SME owners are disproportionately represented by baby boomers. Given the slump in proportionate numbers of successive generations, this  creates a bit of a problem when it comes to exiting their businesses. The pool of potential successors is smaller than the pool of business people wishing to exit.

There’s simply no cure for the demographic issue however one solution for the vast numbers of micro enterprises is something that I wrote about in an applied management paper about 8 years ago; a move towards organic business.

My premise at the time was that the next few decades will see a huge increase in collaborative business models, where multiple micro enterprises get together and, while retaining autonomy, JV to achieve more in total than the sum of the parts. while this, of itself does not solve the demographic problem, when coupled with some developments in service offerings we could see a real change in paradigms.

What with a whole host of services now able to be outsourced, be it SaaS, small service providers or whatever, we will achieve a situation where the micro enterprise of tomorrow will be so much more productive that it should be able fulfil subsume the roles of several micro businesses. With accounting, marketing, planning, project management, CRM and other services farmed out, the micro enterprise principal can concentrate on his/her core business and competency.

A lovely situation where technology can be applied to a societal problem to create an end result which is better than before.

Call it synergy if you will….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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