The Christmas decorations are firmly down, and we are full of good intentions to eat healthier and to finally justify the gym membership we pay for each month. If you’re a small business owner what are your business aspirations for 2018? Making small changes to your business approach can deliver instrumental results and deliver your most productive trading year yet.

As a small business owner, January delivers the ideal time to reflect on areas of accomplishment or areas which need improvement for the year ahead. Here are a few tips we would recommend to get ahead of the competition.

Review your web presence

It’s a new year, is it time to review your existing website? If you are in a particular industry or sector, are there new products that have been launched into the industries marketplace, meaning your website is now out of date? Is it worth looking at how to make money online?  Think about the visual aspect of your website, are you making full use of page layout, colours and images? What do your existing clients or customers think of it? It is always good to get feedback from them. Do you offer an online store? Nowadays many customers like to shop from the comfort of their own environment, and expect to pay for goods quickly and having an online payment gateway is imperative. How easy is it for customers to pay for goods, what can you improve on to improve the user experience?  Whilst it’s good to do as much as possible it’s always good to work with a reputable web developer who can enhance your existing layout.

How well do you know your staff and clients?

We can’t stress this enough. For any business, profit margins are integral, but growth is much more than just £££. It’s about developing relationships and evolving as a business. Asking questions and understanding your clients can enhance your working relationships and builds the rapport you have. Holding monthly meetings with your staff, whether this is in a team meeting or individually on a one to one basis, delivers the opportunity to outline any issues or concerns, not just from the viewpoint of a manager but also the employee. Any issues or concerns can be raised and outlined and appropriate actions can be taken. It means staff often feel more valued, and are more comfortable about approaching subjects should an issue arise, and it may lead to better productivity. Introducing a simple measure such as this, reflects well on you the business owner and will demonstrate the support you are delivering to your employees providing to your staff. Those agreements can only be to the benefit of the staff and management. Also touch base with existing clients to build rapport and learn more about new opportunities which can enhance existing relationships.

Delegate jobs

There are sometimes not enough hours in the day when you are running a small business. Time is a business owner’s most valuable commodity. There are many things you could outsource including: social media, legal aspects, accounting, web design, copywriting, and marketing. Focus on what you’re good at, and channel your energy into what you excel at……running your small business and don’t get lost trying to juggle all aspects of the business. Delegate to individuals you trust who will in turn react positively to the added responsibility, and as a result you will have more time to focus on more pressing issues.

Review the outgoings

January is already a popular time for people to review and think about their outgoings. If you are looking to be more business savvy, looking at your existing outgoings could ultimately save your company money going forward. Look at your existing subcontractors and review their performances over the past 12 months and analyse room for improvements. What are you spending on a week to week basis and how can this be improved?

Time to review your merchant rates?

Even reviewing something as simple as your merchant rates on your card processing account, can save you money. Switching merchant providers can save small businesses upto 40% and take money on your card machine rental. Too many small businesses are paying too much on their MSC merchant service charges and getting a free no obligation quote will highlight exactly how much you could save in 2018. To learn more about saving money on your card processing or card machine rental, please contact us today. What tips would you share to Spring clean your business and streamline outgoings? Please get in touch or comment below.