Now that you've made (and perhaps already put aside) your New Year’s resolutions to ‘be a better person’ or to adopt a healthier lifestyle, have you considered applying this to your business? SMEs in particular should constantly be searching for new ways to upgrade their position in the market, and to do so they will need to effectively apply different strategies that suit their sector.
Below we list 5 resolutions to help you revamp and better protect your business in 2019.
1. The enemy is thy friend
Although we may not want to constantly check up on our competitors’ successes, they can actually help your business improve. Noticing what they are doing can provide a variety of ideas as to how your business or marketing technique may better appeal to your target audience. Keeping up-to-date with trends and changes within your industry can provide you with a competitive advantage when it comes to marketing and growing your company.
2. Get organised
Simple but effective! Being organised is extremely important for startups as this allows for greater control over finances, time, staff management, production and an all round effective workforce. As the team plays an important role in determining the success of a small business, being organised has never been so critical. Lack of organisation can allow your company to be a target for malicious phishing and spear phishing. For example, the cumulative pressure of working under stress and to deadlines can easily lead to disorganisation and a lapse in commonsense thinking, resulting in a breach of data and sensitive information such as passwords. Taking the time now to set out simple processes means staying organised and safe will be a doddle.
3. Know whom you’re talking to
As we become more digital, so does the problem! We recommend providing employees with compulsory professional security training as they will be aware of the latest scams used to dupe companies out of sensitive information. For example, scammers may claim to be from HMRC and assert that a new law (specific to your sector) has been enforced and a mandatory payment must be made; or scammers may research your client base and acknowledge that staff members are very busy (or poorly trained) and will write to the team with minor changes in the email receipt as a fake client. Forewarned is forearmed.
4. Be visible
Conducting business behind closed doors (so to speak) will not be enough to engage a substantial client base. Your business and you personally will need to be present where appropriate. We recommend frequent involvement in networking events as well as exhibitions and conferences. This will boost visibility and brand recognition, which reinforces validity and generates new opportunities.
5. Get Testimonials
Before you buy the latest tech product, let’s say the iPhone X, you’d be likely to conduct research into the updated systems and read customer or expert reviews, right? So, why would a client not do the same before conducting business with your firm? Reviews have become highly influential in the current business climate. Satisfied customers are often only too happy to provide a favourable quote, so don’t hesitate to ask.