The Power of Small: Key Factors For Small Business GrowthGrowing up as the daughter of a small business owner, their advancement has always been a subject near and dear to my heart. Small businesses like my father’s were responsible for 64% of the net new jobs in the United States from 1993 to 2011.

So it was especially heartwarming when my company, SAP, hosted The Power of Small in New York on November 29th. The panel varied with participants from both the public and private sectors who discussed the methodologies used to promote start-ups in the current business environment.

Despite some respectful disagreements, all saw eye-to-eye on one thing, small businesses are a key part of our economy. As a The Power of Small: Key Factors for Small Business Growth second part of the panel, a summary paper covering the key insights from the final results of the NYC small business survey was created, “The Power of Small: Key Factors for Small Business Growth.”

The survey results followed the five subtopics the roundtable covered on November 29th. As I mentioned, agreeing wasn’t always easy, but they came to five insights that are key to a startups success.

Access to Capital

Not just in small businesses, but with almost any effort, in order start it, you need money to do so. So what are some resources for small businesses to turn to? One source is the United States Small Business Administration.

When it comes to finding information, asking support, and looking for contacts to obtain the capital required to kick off your business, this should be your first stop. In fact, the Small Business Administration helped a now successful company go from a start up to a global company. Does the name FedEx sound familiar?

Importance of Human Resources and Leadership

According to the survey, 87% of respondents cited attracting and retaining talent was a major priority. Unfortunately, it can also be the make or break a startup’s experience.

Think about it; it’d be hard to convince the president to become a mayor. In context though, it’s hard to convince seasoned and qualified professionals to take a risk for less recognition. If you can convince them, you’re most likely going to have to ask them to share their skills with the young professional you also recruited to do a similar job.

To combat this, SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott highlighted during the discussion, as a leader of a startup or any business for that matter, the ability to have a vision and communicate that vision is what will help grow the company. It will help convince the professional to get on board and keep the passion going.

Role of Public Policy

It’s not frequently what comes to mind when starting a new company, but this can be a major setback. There are three major concerns small businesses share:

  • Immigration
  • Credit Market
  • Entrepreneurial Culture

If you’re a policymaker, or responsible for helping create it, think about how certain laws can help create an environment that encourages sustainable growth for small businesses.

Leveraging New Technologies

As you know if you’re reading this site, technology is changing quicker than ever. These new advancements aren’t holding back small businesses; they actually present a major opportunity. Things like cloud computing, mobility, and affordable analytics are helping small businesses compete with larger companies and collaborate similarly.

Targeting the Top Performers

Large businesses and the government are in a great place to help drive growth and create jobs by supporting what they think are “top performers” of the small business arena. I know you think there’s probably a cookie cutter profile on a top performing business, but think about Apple. For a long time they didn’t show much success and now they’re partly responsible for changing the mobile world.

As a small business owner, don’t let your fear hold you back. Bill McDermott shares an insight, “The number one reason businesses fail is because they didn’t plan on being a big business.”

This is where the Power of Small wants to help. The purpose of this survey and panel discussion was to bring attention to the obstacles and potential that small businesses can bring to the table. Not just for job growth, but for large companies as well. For example, 79% of SAP’s customers are from the small to mid-sized enterprise area. Not to mention, SAP – one of the largest business enterprise software solution provider – was a start up only 40 years ago.

Click here to learn more about the Power of Small, how you can get involved, or how you can submit your business for funding from this program. Click here: The Power of Small: Key Factors for Small Business Growth to see the survey results and write up.