Disruptive technologies and the threat to incumbent SMEs
Aging may lead to a near exponential growth in SME’s for sale in the coming years.
21% of business owners are 65+ and 27% are between 55 and 65. Above figures are from a recent Danish survey published by Copenhagen Business School, Centre for Owner-Managed Businesses and perhaps they are representative for most of the (Western) World?
At the same time might there be a near exponential decline in the number of sellable SME’s?
Disruptive technologies like e.g. E-Commerce and 3D-Manufacturing threaten to disrupt the traditional SME-role in the value chain. E-Commerce has already made it easy for SME’s to compete globally — thus reducing the traditional home market advantage of many SME’s. Also 3D-Manufacturing is rapidly enabling OEM’s and even end-users themselves to manufacture the products they require “on-demand” at the right quality, quantity and cost — thus eliminating the traditional sub-supplier role of SME’s.
Therefore many SME’s may quickly find that they have lost their competitive advantages due to disruptive technologies and that their businesses are no longer sellable.
If you are an SME-owner you may want to check out www.smexo.dk to find inspiration as to how you may apply digital technologies for exponential growth and avoid disruption.
Thanks for a great, inspiring and illustrative article, Ben!