How to make 2018 a success for your business

By our Head of Operations, Steve Noble

It’s the start of a New Year, which is always a time of excitement, anticipation and renewed energy after the festive break. For any business, this is an opportunity to take stock on the previous year. This means celebrating what went well – whether it was a new customer win or moving into a bigger office – but also thinking about what could be done better this year.

Whatever your ambitions or priorities may be, here are my top three tips for making 2018 the best year yet for your business.

1. Make wellbeing a priority

Of course the measure of success for most businesses is based on the numbers on a profit and loss sheet. But it’s also important to make sure you are taking care of yourself and not sacrificing your own wellbeing for the sake of the business. Our research of SMEs around the UK found that, sadly, all too often business owners are placing their own health at the bottom of the to-do list.  

Over 73% of those we surveyed admit to having felt lonely whilst running their company, and three quarters said they did not know where to turn to for support. Make this the year you prioritise your own physical and mental health – if you’re feeling rested, happy and healthy, this will have a positive impact on your employees and overall business.

Visit our wellbeing page for more tips and advice from wellbeing experts on how to achieve this.

2. Keep a close eye on cash flow 

Whether your ambitions are to keep your business stable this year, take on more staff or grow into a new region, maintaining a healthy cash flow is crucial to ensure your finances are running smoothly and can adapt to any unexpected events.

This is a key consideration for the hundreds of businesses we work with, whether it’s recruitment companies who need to pay weekly wages, wholesalers placing orders for materials months before they sell their products, or construction sub-contractors who work on a project-by-project basis.

As well as the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the basic bills will be covered, the right funding can be used for positive business investment, for example to upgrade machinery, fulfil a large order or negotiate cash-upfront discounts with suppliers, all of which help to lead to growth.

3. Time for a refresh

The New Year always brings with it a sense of change. For some businesses, this may mean considering a rebrand or trying new channels to reach their customers. Could a new logo energise your branding and better represent what your business does, for example? Or could it be time to launch a Facebook or Instagram page as a new way to sell your services and engage with a new audience?

Sometimes having the fresh perspective of someone who doesn’t know your business well can be useful to help you see what could be done better. This could be in the form of a business mentor or marketing consultant in your area, who can help you make sure you’re promoting your company in the most effective ways.

Looking ahead

There is no doubt that the year ahead will be one of transition, not least as the true impact of Brexit begins to be understood, but we know the UK’s small businesses are enterprising, entrepreneurial and will adapt to change.

We are committed to supporting SMEs to continue to thrive and grow, and wish you and your business all the best for 2018!


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