New Year’s resolutions for forward-looking SMEs

NY resolutions

New Year is the traditionally the time for planning to make ourselves over, that is, resolving to be improved versions of ourselves.

So it should also be for businesses – big and small.  Growth-oriented small enterprises should be mindful of areas where their operations can be tweaked so that profitability and sustainability goals can be achieved. From here,they can go for start-of-the year improvements that can be pushed further and further as the year progresses, according to a timeline.

Joshua Reeves, CEO and Co-Founder of ZenPayroll, in an article originally posted on American Express OPEN Forum,gives three suggestions.

  1. Going for a leaner but more efficient businesses.  Adopt some of the latest back-office technologies to streamline payroll, accounting, and taxes.  Having a modern software service will help businesses avoid mistakes because all of the tax filings, payments and form submissions are done automatically for them. Another reason is that it limits the amount of manual work you need to do for copy-pasting, filling out forms by hand and making payments one-by-one.
  2. Getting to know your customers better.  For the coming year, you can resolve to create more open channels with customers.  Online businesses can do this using live chat solutions like  Olark or a survey tool like Qualaroo.
  3. Considering fund-raising platforms other than traditional bank loans.

On the other hand, Entrepreneur suggests the following other areas to look at:

  • Planning ahead – It always makes sense to put a business plan into writing. Doing this can help business owners prioritize how to spend their time and money and set measurable goals.
  • Jump-starting the competition – This means taking time to research and understand the business’ competitive landscape.  Doing this will help the entrepreneur better comprehend the market and his key competitions as well as identify potential customers and partners.
  • Managing cash flow – Preparing a cash flow projection can help entreprneursidentify potential cash shortfalls in the coming year. To keep projections on track, create a rolling 12-month plan that can be updated at the end of each month. Look for ways to reduce expenses and increase revenues. Is it time to shop for new suppliers and vendors? Or is it time to increase prices a bit?
  • Rethinking payment options – Accepting advanced technologies like credit and debit cards embedded with chips (EMV cards) is one important step to reduce the risk of fraud, strengthen security and accept more methods of payment. Taking the latest payment options, including accepting mobile payments, can help increase sales for your business by providing your customers with greater convenience and more payment choices.

Implementing these resolutions is not an overnight process.  It is an effort that should be sustained for the rest of the year.  It all boils down to being improvement-oriented, constantly.

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