Now, Are You Small Enough to Innovate?

Every business owner is worried about the damage the economy is doing to their business. Sales, profits, opportunities are all down. And whether you prefer ‘downsizing’ or ‘right-sizing’ as part of your personal lexicon, the trends are all in the same direction. Your business is getting smaller.

But is it small enough? Or at the very least, can it act like a small business?

Today’s Intuit report on the Future of Small Business ( ) gives six reasons why small businesses innovate faster and more effectively:

1. Personal passion: small business owners are willing to try new approaches

2. Experimentation and improvisation: many small business owners and managers are willing to experiment and improvise, and accept failure as part of the process

3. Customer connections: typically small businesses have more direct and meaningful relationships with their customers so they understand their issues better

4. Agility and adaptation: their size lets them adapt faster to changing market conditions and to implement new business practices

5. Resource efficiency: Small businesses do more with less. And they problem solve more effortlessly

6. Information sharing and collaboration: Small businesses often share information more easily which inspires innovative thinking

Generally, I think these are true. Though the first two speak more to the emotional capacity of entrepreneurs that makes them, well, entrepreneurs. The others rely more on how well an organization is structured and managed, and less on the courage with which it's run.

The bigger question, however, is now that your business is smaller, are you taking advantage of these benefits to innovate faster?

If not, you need to ask yourself why. And then start.