goldfishYesterday I did a presentation to a group of owners of small businesses, people who seemingly compete against the odds from a point of weakness, as almost everybody is bigger, better resourced, has better technology, and are more connected, than them. 

As a basis for the presentation I used Simon Sineks great TED talk, that articulated the ” Why How What”   model, one I have been able to use quite often as a means to assist SME’s sort out what is really important, and what just seems to be important, as they try to navigate the competitive challenges they face.

Just after I had delivered my thoughts,  a great post from Seth Godin popped into my feed, and it added a further perspective to the challenges. For these small business people, working as hard as they can, trying to be “picked” by their potential customers, from amongst the baying crowd of potential suppliers is confronting and often disillusioning. How do they stand out from the crowd?

Seth’s point is do not be a part of the crowd of supplicants, do not wait for others to pick you, pick yourself by being different, useful, and interesting.

This is as true for the SME around the corner as it is to the huge multinational, but when you think about it a bit, the elephant is pretty hard to persuade to change direction, to be sufficiently agile to respond quickly,  whilst the little bloke is far more able to turn on a sixpence.

 It just takes the will, vision and balls to be different.