What kind of challenges are entrepreneurs faced with in today’s global climate? It is perhaps better to think about this question the other way around. For many businesses the global world that we find ourselves in offers a huge amount of opportunity ready to be exploited and the world is full of these examples from Facebook to Ikea. These are examples of companies that started small but soon realized that their product had global reach and a ‘commonality’ with other parts of the world and therefore huge potential. In the case of Facebook it’s now possible to argue that it is no longer an American company as it exists freely almost uncontrollably in the global world. Another interesting example of this is our very own EF. Clearly the founder Bertil Hult saw the commonality that learning English and experiencing culture had and it could be argued that the foundations of the company work on this principle as is true of the desire of students and parents around the world to want a high school education in the US or UK model.
The global environment has other advantages in that resources and costs are no longer stuck in the mother country and that companies can reach out into the global world to improve the way that they do things. Production costs can be massively reduced by using cheaper labor costs on offer in newly emerging markets and I would bet my life that most of the ‘things’ in front of me now have been made in China. This is nothing new of course and China has just replaced the US and before them The British Empire as the ‘workshop of the world’.
All of this may sound amazing and clearly there are wonderful opportunities, but not without challenges because with the highs also come the lows. Companies can come to rely on the global market and as we are only too aware this is prone to problems, even total disasters. The crash of 2008 led to massive inflation and currency devaluation in a number of countries causing massive problems for any company who’s profits rely on commonality. Just this week British steal has faced huge problems because it’s unable to compete with unnaturally low priced steel coming out of china.
Furthermore, Entrepreneurs today are faced with very difficult challenges in terms of their ability to keep up with competitors. As the complexity of the global current affairs intensifies and as technological advancements have continuously solved day-to-day problems; identifying a gap in the market is like finding a moving needle in a haystack.
The continuous change in customer demand and the unstoppable innovation of competitors means that entrepreneurs will have to reinvent the wheel while racing. What does this mean? Using myself as an example, as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Supernova Aerospace Inc, a startup specialized in developing heavy-lifting drones for disaster relief response, I have the responsibility to assure that our venture’s product lineup has a strong competitive advantage and is adjusted to the changing needs of our clients. The rigorous process involves endless market research. But all of these have to be done simultaneously, thus referring to reinventing the while racing.
But this not the end of it. The most difficult challenge for entrepreneurs remains maintaining its corporate social behavior as due to the increase in exposure through social media, any unethical actions would undermine one’s reputation. This is again something that Google has found difficult because of its Tax behavior in the UK has challenged its motto, don’t do evil.
Perhaps the way to answer this question is to say that the challenge that entrepreneurs face in today’s global climate is that they must take the rough with the smooth and understand that operating in the global world is a little like a roller coaster, success depends on being able to survive the lows. It also depends on the ability of the company, and the idea, to adapt to demand, or shape demand.
Written by Trevin Wisaksana
EF Academy Torbay, IB Student and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Supernova Aerospace Inc