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Top Tips for Business Success in 2023

Even if your new year’s resolutions are on their last legs - or have already resigned - don’t let anything dissuade you from reaching your business goals in 2023!

Here are 5 practical tips you can use for a great start to another year in business.

1. Set SMART goals

An overstated and underused bit of advice. So we’ll say it again: set SMART goals! What does this mean?

S - Specific. This covers the why, what, who, when and where of your goals. For example, if you want to make more money this year, is this through increasing turnover, setting up another stream of income, or another method? Specific goals lead to specific sub-tasks that can be used as stepping stones.

M - Measurable. What is the metric you can use to work out if your goal has been reached or progress is being made? Using turnover as an example - set exact monthly or quarterly turnover targets to measure your progress towards the overall turnover you wish to hit.

A - Achievable. No one likes to disappoint themselves so set yourself up to win, right from the start. Goals can be ambitious and require a little more effort than usual, but they should never be so unrealistic that you are unmotivated from the word GO.

R - Relevant. A goal that suited you last year may not make sense today. It’s easy to always aim for the same percentage of growth, but does that reflect where your business is in today’s climate? Do your goals take into account external factors that may make it harder or easier to reach?

T - Time-bound. A goal without a deadline means there is no finish point, and no pressure to sprint towards it. You can’t work at your ‘110%’ forever, an effort which may be required for ambitious targets. Set a time period in which you can reach your goal, then evaluate and review once this period is over to see what went well and what needs to be improved.

2. Forecast your finances

One of the main stunters of growth, especially for small businesses, is the inability to finance it. Forecasting your finances is absolutely essential to spot cashflow bottlenecks which may stop you reaching your goals. Look at the funds you need to operate as you are, then what needs to change to accommodate new customers, new equipment or new staff.

When you know your goals and how much cash is required, take advantage of commercial finance experts and seek advice on all the options available - there may be more than you think! Most importantly, don’t let your finances get in the way of building your business.

3. Surround yourself with experts

We can’t all be good at everything and there is nothing wrong with that. You have your area of expertise and that is why you own your business in its specific industry or niche.

Whilst you may be able to ‘get by’ in a multitude of areas within your business, there is nothing like expert guidance from trusted partners.

Make connections with experts in areas you are less familiar with and lean on them to build your knowledge and wider business strategy. Thanks to their different backgrounds and qualifications, you’ll find solutions you didn’t even know existed which will take your growth in whole new directions.

Plus, owning a company can be a lonely road. Team up with people who are just as passionate about business as you are.

4. Utilise outsourced services

Just as you can’t be good at everything, you also have a limited amount of time in the day. It is best spent on the tasks which make a real difference to either your business’ progress, or your professional development. Here are 5 common areas to outsource:

  • General admin (virtual assistants)

  • Human resources

  • Accountancy

  • Marketing and Copywriting

  • IT services

When considering outsourcing, work out how much time is currently spent on tasks and if the people doing them were always meant to do them. Too often, people can fall into roles for which they are neither the fastest nor best person. Outsource a professional to get it done in half the time, so you and your team can do what’s most impactful for your business.

5. Don’t be scared by the media

Right now, the UK media would have us believing that every single company is on the verge of failure and the high street banks are closing their doors. This simply isn’t the case.

Some businesses are struggling, but plenty are still flourishing despite the miserable economic outlook. One of our most important tips for businesses this year is to take the media with a pinch of salt and focus on your own operations, more than ever.

Only by doubling down on what our unique companies need can we hope to make progress in the noisy, and often scare-mongering, landscape that is the media.

Our top tips for 2023 summarised

  1. Set SMART goals to have the best chance of achieving them

  2. Forecast cash flow so you know if, and when, you’ll need support

  3. Surround yourself with experts to encourage development

  4. Outsource services when your company lacks the skills or time

  5. View the news and media narrative with a pinch of salt

Overall, this year is still a year of opportunities for many of us. It’s not the time to put our heads in the sand.

As we often find in our own networks, it’s amazing how many people want to help you when you ask. Let 2023 be the year you embrace not being an expert at everything, focussing on your own ambitious goals, and utilising commercial finance to fund the growth you’re aiming for.

You can also join the conversation over on LinkedIn.

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