Several readings of various experts on SMEs, plus our experience and expertise, we consider the following criteria (except obviously for the financing), often reveal that:
- We do not really know what works and does not work within the SME. There are few or no periodic business health check. This is in addition to the lack of definition of opportunities and weaknesses within the SME.
- No or few appropriate performance indicators (dashboard) (including ratios). Like driving a car without the control panel and mini-corrections of conduct.
- No or poor collection or systems to gather adequate data. In fact there is a lack of details.
- Most of the sales people are not adequately trained. Also referrers of customers or sales (or affiliates equivalent) are not paid or well paid.
- Most companies have not defined their ideal customers (the target market is not sufficient).
- Most entrepreneurs or sales people do not do enough or appropriate follow-up and repetitive sales effectively.
- Many officers, supervisors, employees, customers and suppliers don’t know not exactly periodic expectations of one another (lack of communications).
- Many leaders work isolated and see consultants or external audiences as an expense , not an investment.
- Many leaders are waiting for crises to act. It is 10 times cheaper to prevent than to cure. Act now.
See report from the BDC http://www.bdc.ca/Documents/sbw2013/docs/SMEsAtAGlance_summer_2013_EN.pdf