The business sector continues to evolve into one of increased worldwide interconnectedness. Though there are arguably both positive and negative impacts of this dynamic, globalisation provides many opportunities for SMEs, including increased market access and cost-savings from an expansive range of supply chain options. Perhaps on a more humanitarian note, globalisation has also improved the standard of living in many countries and communities throughout the world. The overall impact of globalisation depends on the nature of a business and its industry, but it’s suffice to say that every organisation is or will be affected in some way. So, business owners must develop smart strategies for success in our interconnected world.
What Experts Expect in the Coming Year
Goldman Sachs recently predicted that the global economy will outperform expectations in 2024. They attribute this positive outlook to anticipated income growth, cooling inflation, and a robust job market. But their forecast is not all rosy. While the world’s overall GDP growth is expected to remain mostly unchanged in the coming year, Goldman Sachs notes U.S. GDP will likely wain in 2024 by three-tenths of a percentage point.
But not all experts agree. The World Economic Forum offers a bit more of a pessimistic economic outlook for 2024. They report that leading banks believe global economic growth will ebb in 2024 due to increased energy prices and economic slowdowns in the U.S. and China. While the banks do not anticipate a worldwide recession, they do allow for mild recessions in Europe and the UK.
Clearly, there is a lot of uncertainty as we roll into 2024, and plenty can change in the ensuing 12 months. The global economy has a tremendous number of moving parts, and nobody knows for sure how conflicts like the wars in Israel and Ukraine will continue to impact worldwide industry. So it is important to keep an ear to the ground and an eye on the future in this potentially volatile business environment.
Strategies for Small Business Success in Our Global Economy
Small business owners sometimes possess a bit of a myopic view of their place in the global economy. But even the smallest of SMEs can be susceptible to challenges like global supply chain issues, foreign competition, and so many other facets of the expanding worldwide market. Suffice it to say, that adaptability and resilience will forever be the keys to endurance.
The following are four top strategies for success in our expanding global economy:
1. Diversify Supply Chain
Supply chain resilience is essential in a global economy. In the last several years, many business owners have experienced firsthand the negative impacts of engaging with limited supply sources. First, there was the shipping port congestion due to pandemic dynamics, followed by trade tensions, fires, weather, and other events that often made acquiring raw materials and goods incredibly challenging.
The importance of supply chain diversification is arguably the biggest industry takeaway since 2020. It is important to conduct risk assessments and evaluate your current suppliers to better understand their vulnerabilities, performance, and resilience. Explore other options, particularly those suppliers that are located outside the same region, if possible.
2. Attract Top Talent
The global workforce is pretty remarkable and increasingly skilled. It is essential to understand that due to the rise of the gig economy and contract work, your business may lose out on the best employees. With the understanding that companies on the other side of the world can potentially lure away your top talent, ensure that your business is enticing to quality job candidates, which might include standard employees or contractors.
The point is that competition for workers is fierce. Make compensation packages and your company culture worthy of the quality of talent you want working for you.
3. Embrace Collaboration
Implementing a strategy of collaboration can have a massive impact on the growth of your business in a global economy. Create cooperative efforts with international partners, suppliers, or online platforms to reach a wider customer base and perhaps even expand into globally. You might consider partnering with other businesses to jump into fresh markets by combining your resources and capabilities.
Collaborative marketing also creates ample opportunities for an expanded reach. Consider businesses that complement your goods and services, then brainstorm ways you can align your marketing objectives.
4. Prioritise Cybersecurity
One of the most concerning impacts of globalisation is the devastating impact of cybercrimes, often perpetrated by foreign entities. And literally, nobody is immune. Small businesses are often the go-to targets for hackers due to the perception that they lack critical cybersecurity infrastructure. And the fact is, they often do. A recent Accenture’s Cybercrime study reports nearly 43% of cyberattacks are on small businesses, with less than 15% of them having a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. The cost of such attacks can be extraordinary and many SMEs simply don’t survive.
Work with industry experts to create a cybersecurity strategy that matches your risk level. If you don’t have it already make sure to add comprehensive cybersecurity coverage to your insurance policy.
While the world seems to be getting increasingly smaller, the emerging global economy offers many opportunities for many organisations. Savvy business owners willing to leverage resiliency, creativity, and collaboration better position themselves for success now and for years to come.