While Christmas may be nearly upon us, those of you with a more forward-thinking outlook will probably be looking ahead to the New Year.
If you’re a small business owner, however, you may be approaching 2018 with a sense of trepidation. After all, SME confidence has sunk to its lowest level since the EU referendum vote, with many firms concerned about the prospect of dwindling margins, soaring inflation and the rising cost of living.
The New Year represents the ideal time to make new and progressive plans for your business, however, as you look to plot a viable growth course. Here are some New Years’ resolutions that will help to drive your business forward:
Refine Your Growth and Pricing Strategies
Thinking strategically is key to success in the current climate, so now is the ideal time to develop growth and pricing plans that can sustain your venture in the near-term.
By understanding these economic challenges (and those that are specific to your industry), you can make informed plans that are both generative and palatable for customers. In terms of growth, this means scaling organically in line with demand and your budget, rather than adhering to preconceived plans that are now unobtainable.
In terms of pricing, you need to ensure that you are setting tariffs that the market can bear, while also maintaining a desirable profit margin. This may require a process of trial and error, but starting now may give you a head start on your competitors.
Develop an Agile Business Model
Another key element of your growth and pricing plans is that they’re agile, as this enables you to adapt them in line with demand and the prevailing, economic climate.
Agility is central to successful growth in a changeable economic climate, and without it your business runs the risk of stagnating and losing significant ground to its rivals.
Creating flexibility in your pricing is a relatively easy way of achieving this objective, while you can also place a greater emphasis on using temporary staff and premises.
This can immediately reduce operational costs, while also optimising efficiency in relation to individual projects, tasks and circumstances.
Organise Your Business Finances
There’s a world of difference between managing personal finances and business accounts, and this remains a key challenge in any climate. Given the need for SMEs to reduce operational costs in the modern age, however, it’s crucial that you learn how to manage your businesses capital and deploy this efficiently.
One of the best places to start is by investing in an economist’s diary, which is available online from outlets such as Collins Debden. This type of diary is an iconic and in-depth planning tool, which also includes unique editorial information and insight from the world’s financial leaders.
Beyond this, you also need to focus on minimising the non-strategic, operational costs that underpin your venture. By minimising these, you can boost profitability without compromising on the service that you deliver to customers.