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New year’s resolutions for SMEs

Date Added: 24/01/2014  

January can be a time of great promise for many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), as they focus on what they can achieve in the year ahead.

Business owners should harness this ‘get up and go’ spirit to make some New Year’s resolutions that will help their companies grow and prosper in 2014.

Here are a few suggestions.

Learn from last year’s performance

Owners of SMEs should use January to really examine their company’s performance in 2013. 

Analyse the business strategies that worked well and those that did not. What changes can be made in 2014 to ensure mistakes aren’t repeated and chances are seized rather than missed?

By looking at the reasons behind the successes and failures of 2013, business owners will be able to identify any opportunities for growth this year.

Create a business plan

A detailed business plan will help owners of SMEs make better decisions about the strategies that need to be employed in order for the company to operate efficiently and grow.

The plan should include the right figures and realistic forecasts to demonstrate to potential investors that you are a sensible venture for them.

Creating a plan isn’t necessarily about improving profits - it can map the future of the business. This means business owners can create comprehensive strategies to deal with various scenarios that could happen throughout the year.

Understand the business’ cashflow

Late payment and cash flow are the biggest barriers to growth facing SMEs, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Taking the time to read through financial statements means business owners will have greater control over their company, as they will understand where savings can be made.

Late payment and cash flow are the biggest barriers to growth facing SMEs, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Simon Barker, chief executive officer of Bartercard UK, said: “The important first step for SMEs aiming to preserve cash is to draw up a budget. There are many different ways to do this, but the aim is always to identify where your business is overspending, or where it should be spending more.”

Once this is done, companies can begin planning their route to where they realistically hope to be over the next year. 

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