Towards the Sustainable SME

4 July 2011

John Hemphill, Axxos Director

Sustainable SMEs mean sustainable employment and wealth creation. These are very desirable beings. What do they look like, how do we know one if we see one?

Based on our work with hundreds of SMEs (mainly potential and actual high-growth ones) we’ve arrived at a model which we’ve named the Axxos Spearhead. This argues for four distinct but complementary activities in a well-balanced or sustainable SME:

  1. Possible Customer identification and innovative solution development for them;
  2. Conversion of Possible Customers into New Customers and thus early Sales;
  3. Ongoing business with Existing Customers;
  4. The Execution Capacity & Resources to successfully operate the company in the three Customer areas.

Thus a company’s entry into its market is led by developing Possible Customer solutions, converting these to New Customers and thence to maintaining Existing Customers. The Spearhead is driven forward by its shaft of Execution Capacity and Resources.

Of course, not all SMEs enjoy such an harmonious balance between their different areas of activity. We explore, with diagrams, Sustainable and other SME versions in the downloadable Discussion Notes.

We would be very interested in your views on these as either SME founders and managers; or as enterprise development policy developers and program managers.

Please have a look at the Notes, and let us know what you think.