Everybody loves SME’s…

…but when it comes down to it that is really just about the size of the UK market and the reality that even 1% is more money than most of us would need for a lifetime let alone as a business opportunity!
When it comes to b2b it’s nothing to do with "love". Relationships, "yes". But it’s about little more than maintaining existing accounts OR attempting to plunder a huge market using tried and tested marketing routines to make sure your products or services remain or become the SME’s preferred choice.
Always a sensitive area and the standard "trick" is to pitch a price or rate that is as much as it can be without losing the business or as cheap as it needs to be win without failing to deliver!
SME’s can be very well served by their closest advisors, Govt. agencies and trade associations. Each is there to help but each has their own issues or agenda and, with SME concerns about cost and competition, they can be viewed, by busy leaders (who are working hard merely to survive), as being obstacles to development and innovation. In which case keeping on doing what you do and know (the staus quo) is the order of the day. As a result there is, at very least, a perceived cost barrier to embracing new technologies, or pursuing new ideas.
In such a difficult economic climate the financial and time costs associated with the process of accessing, early stage, cost effective, professional guidance to help identify, research, develop and market opportunities can effectively stifle innovation.
I believe that we have the means to remove this blockage and to promote innovation and trade amongst SME’s. There have been historic barriers to collaboration but web 2.0 technology provides a means to overcome these problems. Providing a connected support infrastrucutre with the ability for an enlightended business community to break free of the financial (and reputational…in the case of banking & insurance) burdens of institutional structure also creates a means to share and trade with each other AND directly benefit the wider community.
The solution has been a long time in the forming but, to date, every individual and company has responded favourably to the outline of the concept and I am currently working toeard pulling some of the partners together.
I would be very interested to hear from other like-minded people who are keen to collaborate and develop the idea further for rollout during 2009. 

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