How to plan for the year ahead: #Strategiesfor2020
Rushika Bhatia
10X Industry

How to plan for the year ahead: #Strategiesfor2020

SME10X presents a guide of simple strategies to refresh your business and ensure you are on the right track!

The UAE has the best possible infrastructure for robust and competitive growth. Through the years, the country has evolved to foster entrepreneurship, renew business opportunities and raise standards of quality and productivity. As the backbone of the country’s economy, SMEs have naturally played a pivotal role in enabling this transformation and supporting long-term innovation.

Now, as the country looks to achieve its future objectives and is counting down days to Expo 2020, SMEs need to renew their commitment towards competitiveness and innovation. One of the biggest focal points in 2020 would be how SMEs reinvent themselves to stay differentiated in an ever-evolving global market.

Looking ahead, three areas will be of utmost significance to SMEs and their growth: increasing global competition, rapid technological advancement and widening global markets. And as a pillar of support for SMEs aiming to thrive in the future economy, SME10X would like to share a few strategies to buck these trends.

1. Ensure alignment of existing procedures with new technologies: As your business adopts emerging technologies, it’s possible to get detracted from your core offering. To unlock maximum value from new technologies, ensure that your business strikes the right balance between existing procedures and innovation-driven activities. This will ensure quality and interoperability as well as proper commercialization of emergent technologies.

2. Partner with other businesses: Getting into mutually beneficial agreements with companies in complementary industries can help you leverage each other’s strengths. Think of it as a start-up in an accelerator programme that reaches out to other entrepreneurs to combine skills and create something extraordinary. Moreover, companies across the world are opting for this partnership model that allows them to raise the profile of their business by extending into a new geographical location as well as learning about new standards.

3. Equip your workforce with the necessary skills: Workforce development will continue to be a strategic priority for businesses entering into 2020 as well. In fact, this is more important than ever as the skills gap widens due to technological advancement. To stay ahead of the curve, SMEs should partner with higher-learning institutes and incorporate skills-development modules into their workplaces. This is perhaps the most important area moving into the New Year as companies will need to develop the right mindset, knowledge and skillset if they want to excel in the future.

4. Empower your people: Whether it’s your employees, customers or suppliers, make sure you are empowering the people associated with your business to deliver value. Carmel Gavin of Autodesk shares her thoughts in an online piece for UPS: “Any company culture becomes a manifestation of its employees’ values and behaviors. If you want to change that reality, you have to be specific about what you want to change. As a first step, identify a core set of values and determine the behaviors that support those values. This exercise includes incorporating elements that have served you well, in addition to new values and behaviors necessary to achieve your company’s long-term goals. Whatever the culture map, the most important thing is to be as deliberate as possible in defining what your culture should look like. Taking the time in the beginning to be clear about where you’re heading can help accelerate the journey more than you can possibly imagine. This is particularly important because you will likely encounter people within your organization who perceive the development of a formal culture framework as unnecessary — or even a distraction from achieving the company’s objectives.”

We hope these strategies will prove to useful as your business enters 2020. Good luck!