Congratulations! Your small business has made it through another business year and despite all the concerns over Brexit and the current economy, that is no small feat.

Whilst there are certain aspects you are probably enthralled by, it is always important to remember there is always room for improvement. The end of December is a good time to consolidate and reflect on aspects and look at ways to improve coming into the New Year. The coming weeks are an ideal time to sit down and structure some resolutions to improve various aspects. In this blog we will look at some suggestions and tips to implement to take your business forward.

Now is the perfect time to review and update your business plan

Regardless of whether you are a small business owner or a sole trader it is important to have some form of a business plan. This can be brief or in other cases extensive. It can be good to go back and look at this to see how aspects you’ve targeted have benefited your business and to what degree. It is also important to ask yourself to what extent have you been sticking to these? The likelihood is you’ll want to make various changes based on your experiences from 2019 and with the arrival of new brands, products and technologies this may reshape your focus going forward.  Very much a case of combining old and new ideas together – to take you forward for 2020.

What changes do you need to make to your workforce for 2020?

If you are a small business it is so important to have a good network around you.  What aspects of your small business workforce need reviewing for the coming year? Has there been an area in the business which has seen a shortfall in productivity, or is there an area i.e. logistics that needs additional bodies to help support customer demand? Don’t just factor in the coming months, but look at the bigger picture  and how additional recruitment will benefit your business even in your quieter months. Don’t be hasty in employing the first person who comes along, finding the right balance in a small team is pivotal. A harmonious team is worth its weight in gold for productivity and factor that in whilst looking at applicants’ skill sets. It may be an additional outlay in terms of wages but this could help your business run more efficiently and achieve great successes in the long term.

Liaise with your customer base

Employees are an integral part to any small business, but customers are equally crucial. Without their custom and support you wouldn’t have a business. As businesses find their way in to the New Year, January is the perfect time to network and reach out to your customers. Even a simple customer satisfaction survey to get some feedback and input from them could advise on areas you need to improve on. It is so important to encourage customer feedback on any purchase to help you improve as a business. Liaise with your staff to ensure the necessary protocols are followed to ensure your client base is being listened too. Not only will it potentially enhance your business but it will go a long way to cementing relationships.

Look into new payment software solutions

Small businesses owners often depend on a wide range of payment products to enhance their small business and to support them on various tasks. An ePOS system for example can provide extensive reports on top selling products, those items that are perhaps under-performing and can also provide a rough overview on peak trading times amongst other things. Aspects like things can allow a business owner to make crucial decisions going forward. With the advances in payment technology are you delivering all the necessary needs to your customers? Research has shown customers now expect to have the choice to pay by card and the recent introduction of the Move5000 has provided greater flexibility to small business owners with its multi connectivity functionality. The Ingenico Move5000 has an outstanding connectivity feature and can connect via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPRS meaning however your small business operates you can almost certainly process card payments. In addition to this The Move5000 card machine also offers NFC technology in addition to the traditional Chip and PIN card payment, EMV and contactless pay and wave. Introducing a card machine brings so many opportunities to business owners and also means you and your staff will be handling less cash.

As you head into 2020 review all aspects of your existing software and ask yourself are they meeting your needs and if they aren’t what can you do to improve this?  Identify what aspects you need and how they will benefit you going forward.

We’d like to wish all small business owners a very Happy New Year. What tips would you share?

 

 

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