Top tips on how to prep your SME for the new year

As an SME owner, the new year is the ideal time to take a relook at what’s important for your company. This mindset ensures you’re in tip-top shape and ready for the new year.

For many small business owners, the festive season can become stressful, causing a drop in cash flow. This is because, by the holiday seasons, many businesses are closed, and a lot of consumers have gone away for the holidays. It’s then hard for businesses, more so SMEs, to make sales. So, considering these challenges, it’s crucial for you, as the business owner, to prepare your company for 2020 to ensure you have a healthy and wealthy year ahead of you. For helpful tips on achieving this, read the article below.

Reflect on your business’s progress from the previous year

Before you get caught up in new year’s resolutions, you must examine the results of the previous year. Reflecting can help you get a clear vision of what needs to be done or rectified in the new year. These are the questions you need to ask yourself?

  • What were the highs and lows for my business in the last year?
  • What do I need to improve this business year?
  • How many clients did I retain and lose in the past year? What was the cause of losing these clients, and could I have done things differently?
  • What marketing implications did I add last year and did it help my business?
  • What time of the year does my business make the most profit?
  • What steps do I need to take to make sure this is a great year for my business. 

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, keep in mind that your business’s success won’t happen overnight. Nor is success based on luck; instead, understand that success is based on planning and always knowing what and where your business’s shortfalls are.

Always keep track of your company’s books

Once you have had time to reflect, the next step is to go through your books and ensure everything is organised. Make sure you have been paying your taxes, and that you have money put aside to continue paying while you rebuild your cash flow. Not paying your tax can have harmful implications for your company, so make sure you have everything covered. 

Start planning for your company’s growth

Every year needs to be another opportunity for your company to grow and expand itself. Although this may seem obvious, many company owners forget to plan for this in the new year. But, it’s important that you plan things thoroughly to ensure that your business dreams become attainable. Take a step back and see where your business needs improvements and what can help push your business to the next level. This is where you may start needing to think about business funding. As having a small business loan can come in handy with the growth of your business.

Revamp your office by getting newer equipment

Every business owner should know that in order to foster growth, you need to have the right tools. And one of the most important tools to have is the latest technology. Having the latest equipment will help with production and make things easier for your employees.

And when your employees work with ease, you will see an improvement in your sales. Since your business is still small, it may not have enough money to purchase newer equipment, and that’s where small business funding comes in. Getting small business funding in South Africa has its challenges, but it isn’t unattainable. Know the purpose of the loan, have all the necessary documents for the application process and know whether you stand a chance to qualify or not. Business loans in South Africa are available, whether it is a long or short term loan.

Have a check-in with your clients

Your clients play an important role in the growth of your business, and creating and maintaining a good relationship is vital. To keep your relationship on a high note, you need to touch base with your clients and discuss your plans. This is the perfect time to also thank them for working with you. Find out how they want your business to help them grow in the new year, and to discuss any issues that may have been left unresolved. This will help to strengthen your bond and ensure that you have a lasting relationship with your clients.

Have a sit down with your employees

As a small business owner, you still have the privilege to be able to talk to your employees, so use that to your advantage. Because when your business starts expanding, it will be hard for you to bring everyone together. During your sit down, it’s important that you address the goals for the new year; find out what they want and need in the new year. And, find out if they have any ideas to either make processes faster or help the business reach its next level.

Visualise what you wish to accomplish for your business

Visualising goals may be what you only do in your personal life, but it’s a tool you can use for your company as well. When you visualise your goals, it is easier for them to become a reality. So, in the new year, you need to start visualising and remind yourself of what you wish for, for your company in the new year.

Try to bring something new to your business

Trying out something new can be intimidating. Especially when your old processes have been working effectively for all this time. But, sometimes change can be exactly what your business needs. So, think about whatever you have been putting off and give it a shot. As long as you do your research, then there is nothing stopping you. And remember that there is no shame in failure, and even in failure, you might get surprisingly good outcomes.

Promote and expand your brand

When the new year kicks off in full swing, promoting your business regularly may not be at the top of your checklist. But, if you’re planning on growing your business, retaining more clients and customers, then you need more exposure. The best and practical way of promoting your brand in the new year would be to hire or expand your marketing department. Even though adding an additional department may cost money, with the right team, it will be worth it, and you can start seeing an improvement in sales.

Improve customer satisfaction

Your business should always strive to improve customer satisfaction as that’s key to making a profit. Here are a few tips on how you can improve customer satisfaction:

  • Collect feedback from your customers on what your business needs to change. Collecting feedback can be done through social media or traditional surveys and questionnaires.
  • Have a customer care line that can deal with inquiries and complaints. This will also give you an idea of whether your business is meeting your customers’ needs or not.
  • Treat consumers how you would want to be treated and instill that practise among your employees.
  • Encourage your employees to take ownership of problems instead of waiting for your approval. This will help customers get immediate response and have their issues taken care of faster.

Final words

The new year is the perfect time for you to reinvent your business. All you need to do is follow the tips above and ensure that you are always keeping your clients and customers happy at all times. And remember, happy clients, are returning clients. So, go out there and make the necessary changes to your business and watch it grow.

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