Can small businesses afford to not evolve?

HMV: the latest high street business to join the ranks of big firms teetering on the edge of disaster.

It makes for a pretty grim picture - businesses that have shaped our high street for decades are slowly slipping away. The media are determined to worry us into a triple-dip recession, and reports of banks refusing to lend to small businesses to aid growth really doesn't help. The last few years haven't been easy for those of us involved in running a business.

The reality is that it's the businesses who have neglected to review their positioning and respond to changes in the way that their customers want to interact with their brand that have found themselves in hot water. The good news for small businesses though, is that it's really easy for us to innovate and change. We can react quickly to changes in the marketplace, making tweaks to our businesses that just aren't possible when you run a huge multi-layered company. We can collaborate, expand and grow with so much more ease, making us really very nimble. And that truly gives small businesses the upper hand when times get tough. We have the power to shape our businesses to suit our clients and our marketplace - and who can argue that that's not a good thing?