Business Strategies for SMEs – key takeaways from our latest online ed-event

On the 23rd of June, Leaders First hosted an online event on the topic of Business Strategies for SMEs. Members and Guests of Leaders First had a unique opportunity to join a webinar with experts Luisa Todini and Alessandro Ielo.
The main discussed topics were strategies for SMEs with declining revenues or increased demand post Covid-19, cash-flow, funding and M&A strategies. The audience also had an opportunity to have their questions answered during Q&A sessions.
You may find some key takeaways from the event below. The full recording is available to Members of Leaders First on our online platform.
The first speaker was Luisa Todini, Chair of Green Arrow Capital SGR, who shared her thoughts on the topics and her experiences especially in light of the present Covid-19 epidemic and its impacts on businesses in Italy. 
Luisa told us of the situation in various areas and industries as her asset management company spans from automotive, pharmaceutical, software over to food and beverage, education and more.
She also highlighted the need to remain creative and active during challenging periods such as the lockdown. We heard interesting statistics on smart-working in Italy, as during the epidemic, the number of smart-workers rose from 520,000 to 8 million (out of 23 million workers).
The future of interpersonal relationships at work
For the future, Luisa said she believed that meritocracy will win and professional and employment relationships will change towards working by objective and working to reach a target, irrespective of what time of the day or night the actual work is done.
The significance of communication
Luisa also stressed the importance of taking care of the people and employees of businesses. It is crucial to maintain good internal communication, not just external and leaders should make sure to communicate their plans and visions to their employees to have their full support when presenting the company and its intentions externally.
Finally, apart from the strong digital infrastructure companies now must implement to allow their teams to work together, it is also important to invest into physical infrastructures which generate a significant amount of employment.
The second key note speaker of the night was Alessandro Ielo, the founder of VERTUS with international experience from Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Manila and London and expertise in various industries.
Alessandro started off by sharing a little bit about his professional journey and how he at one point turned around careers from advisory to a family business during a complicated time.
Before the beginning of his presentation, he highlighted that the most important strategy individuals and companies of all sizes alike must incorporate is Agility because the ability to respond with flexibility to ongoing changes is essential to stay on the market.
Strategies for SMEs
Alessandro also presented the audience with strategies businesses should now consider, highlighting in particular the core position of human resources. Similarly to Luisa, he also noted the need of reinforcement of internal communications with both shareholders and stakeholders.
Cash-flow strategies
When discussing several cash-flow strategies, Alessandro stressed the importance of a good business plan, which is always a starting point for funding activities. Although a business plan is both time and money-consuming, it is essential business owner invest to create a strong and proper plan.
When asked about Agility during the Q&A session, Alessandro mentioned that the need to become Agile applies to both managers and business owners, who must give the right direction and lead their people.
The webinar’s final contribution was a presentation delivered by Fabrizio Nicolosi on ‘Why Invest in the UK as an SME?
Fabrizio shared several structural and conjunctional factors on why businesses should consider investing in the UK at the moment, which include transparent legal system, low taxes, international environment and low interest rates or favourable EUR/GBP exchange rate. Thanks to all of these, the UK and especially London provide big opportunities for growth.
We would like to thank our speakers for their contribution and our audience who joined the webinar from all over the world and participated with very intriguing questions.
The next event Leaders First is hosting will be an interactive online masterclass on Agile Leadership on the 1st of July.
If you wish to receive full access to all online events, including educational webinars and masterclasses with industry leaders and members of our professional network, you can apply to become a member of Leaders First.