Small-scale enterprises have an important role in almost all sectors – agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry, industry, services, etc. – and in some countries they form the basis of livelihoods for most of the population. Traditionally most small enterprises have been designed to meet the demand from local markets. Going beyond the local markets requires up-scaling in the volume or value of production. In a business environment that is primarily oriented towards the development of large enterprises, small enterprises operate on an uneven playing field. Globalization has added a new dimension to this imbalance; while new opportunities have emerged, so also have challenges, especially when political, social, economic and technological differences among countries enhance the unevenness of the playing field. Managing this disparity has become the major thrust of discussions relating to world trade and development.
Small enterprises play an important part in the processing, transport and marketing of wood and non-wood products. Increasingly even wood production is moving into the domain of smallholders in many countries. Provision of environmental services such as recreation is another area in which small enterprises are increasingly involved.
This article examines some of the economic issues confronting small-scale enterprises, including those in the forest sector. It focuses on the links among scale, markets and economic performance, particularly in the context of globalization. After analyzing the dynamics of the development of small enterprises, including the implications of changes in value chains, it presents key issues relating to the future development of small enterprises and the relevance of various interventions.
Small and medium-sized enterprises dominated all spheres of economic activity until the beginning of the industrial revolution when technological advancements, especially in manufacturing and transportation, enabled some of these enterprises to scale up production. Larger enterprises, both public and private, benefited significantly from improved access to inputs and to emerging large markets, national and global. They became symbols of progress, influencing policies, legislation and investment priorities. Of considerable importance was the emergence of transnational corporations, whose share in the production and distribution of products and services has increased enormously in recent decades, as has their direct and indirect influence on national and international policies.
The future of small-scale enterprises, including those in the forest sector, will depend in large part on their ability to adapt to changing markets, technological improvements, transition from the informal to the formal sector and the characteristics of the value chains in which they take part. The changing technological space is the only media that will enable small-scale enterprises bridge market differences and gain a global presence status.
With the coming of the Social web tools enterprises have all the opportunities to become known in the different national, regional and world markets for what they do and offer to their clients. Social tools like Face book, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Instagram and many others now offer free written and short video advertising. Adopting these tools into the operations of your business fully exposes your company to the whole world which we now call a flat world due to the coming of social media.
For small-scale enterprises to fully maximize the potential of Social web tools, two major business departments of Sales and Marketing should inculcate Social Media into their operations. But remember if not used efficiently Social media can destroy and reduce customers who may get nagged by the content offered. The big question would be "What should Small-Scale enterprises do?" Anyone can write a Facebook or twitter article but note that not all articles written make sense to the readers. That's exactly what happens when it comes to Social media for businesses, Small-Scale industries should HIRE Social Media Experts who have been trained and portray your business to the global social media market in the required standards.
Its also important to hire experts to avoid Local, Regional and International market legal implications that may cost the developing business. As the world continues to embrace more sophiscated and advanced technologies, its high time for Business owners to find a way on how to Fight Fit into the global market and remain relevant. So as you read this article please make it your role empower small-scale businesses fight fit.
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