The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged Scottish firms to embrace change to help them thrive in 2016.
Andy Willox, the group’s Aberdeen-based Scottish policy convener, also warned Scotland’s small and medium-sized enterprises “not to end up like the video shop or film developer” and put digital technology at the centre of their plans for growth.
And he called on political parties to make building a more resilient Scottish economy their top priority for Holyrood’s May elections.
Mr Willox said: “Change is hard but often necessary – well, that’s what we’ll be telling ourselves next week as we try to stick to the new year’s resolutions.
“This year, FSB published a report looking at digital disruption. We’ve urged our members not to end up like the video shop or film developer.
“Instead, we make the case that small firms should harness the opportunities unlocked by technology and put digital at the centre of their 2016 plans for growth.”
FSB is the UK’s largest direct-member business organisation. It has around 200,000 members across the UK, including 19,000 in Scotland.
The organisation’s Scottish policy convener runs Aberdeen-based cleaning business Goldstar.
Looking ahead to the Scottish Parliament elections, Mr Willox said: “Our manifesto for May’s Holyrood elections is full of practical ideas to make Scotland a better place to do business.
“At its heart is a call for the next Scottish Government to focus its economic strategy on building up the resilience of local economies and, hence, local communities.
“While inward investment and key sectors remain important to Scotland, there is much more to real, sustained economic growth than that.
“Scotland must develop new ways to turn failing places around and ensure that local economies aren’t perilously dependent on a small number of large, globally mobile employers or industries.
“This point extends to communities over-reliant on state-championed industries and public sector employers, now stretched because of pressure on the nation’s purse.”
He added: “We need to build communities that are more resilient to global economic shocks – and that means spreading our risk by broadening and strengthening our small business base.
“Improving our communications infrastructure is key to this, ensuring no business or area is left in the digital slow lane.
“It also means that the next government must create the most supportive environment in which to do business, by taxing fairly, spending wisely and regulating sensibly.”