Owners of scale-ups are always looking to the future, but as the new year dawns it brings a time for reflection. What business new year’s resolutions should entrepreneurs be taking on?
Over the past six months we have been looking at all the ways in which business owners can focus their efforts on scaling up.
We’ve explored funding, exporting, recruitment, managing cash flow and a variety of different ways in which businesses can grow.
As we look ahead to 2018, it’s time to be more reflective – to look back on what businesses have achieved this past year and how they can improve over the next.
Here’s a round-up of our top ten business New Year’s resolutions for 2018.
- Cash is king – you will have heard this many times before, but it’s as true as ever. A business can’t scale up without cash behind it. In the new year, why not set a goal of nailing the basics, and getting a firm handle on expenses management
- Explore new opportunities abroad – for businesses looking to go global, it’s time to start thinking and working globally. There may be setbacks and the economy may look uncertain, but there’s never been an easier time to sell overseas
- That said, protect yourself against Brexit – we don’t yet know how Brexit will play out, but undoubtedly it will have ramifications on how we do business with Europe. Make sure you’ve got the right tools in place to go up against the unknown
- Recruit smoothly – recruitment can be a real challenge, especially if you’re operating in an industry with a pronounced skills gap. Find out how you can get the right people onboard quickly
- Improve your onboarding experience – Once you’ve found the right people, don’t put them off on day one. Make sure they’ve got everything they need to do a good job, and don’t ignore them
- In fact, generally aim to become a better employer – an employer brand is more important than you might think, it’s not all about the customer experience
- Learn to delegate – It’s a hard thing to do for any entrepreneur, but with any scale-up the time will come when one person can no longer run every operation. Finding people that can be trusted to run the show is the new challenge
- Explore new revenue streams – The world is changing fast, and while one avenue may no longer be as profitable, new opportunities are opening up all the time. Running events could be a great way to extend a network and scale up
- Get agile – small businesses have the great advantage over larger corporates of being able to think on their feet and move with the times – so don’t get stuck in the past. Get mobile, explore flexible working and home working and see if it’s right for you
- Know your funding options – If the bank turns you down for a loan it’s no longer the end of the line. There are so many different alternative finance options available these days – make it your business to know and understand them, so your business can get the cash injection it needs to reach new heights.
There are many different ways to scale up a business, but scaling up too fast can lead to a business going bust. Pace yourself, pick a new year’s resolution to focus on – but most of all, just be aware of the opportunities available to small businesses.
Happy new year!
By Letitia Booty
Former special projects journalist
Origin: Real Business