14 tips for business success in 2014

14 tips for business success in 2014

ArticlesPosted on 23rd December 2013

Start the new year for your business with a bang. Here are our top tips to help you realise your business goals in the months to come.

14 tips for business success in 2014

14 tips for business success in 2014

As the new year begins it is a great time to reflect on last year’s achievements, as well as plan and prepare for the year ahead. Business may well have been good over the last few weeks of the year, especially for hotels, restaurants and bars in the hospitality and catering industry. However this is no time to rest on recent glories, now is the time to make 2014 the greatest of successes. We have compiled a few tips to help you make the most of the next twelve months.

1. Keep your business plan up to date
All businesses tend to have a business plan, generally needing it to get started in the first place. However these are often neglected after the first year. When was the last time you reviewed yours? Now is the time to evaluate whether you are still on track. Identify if there any amendments or improvements needed to get your business back on course with your goals and objectives.

2. Focus on better management control
How well do you know the true performance of your business? Effective business management relies on informative reporting processes, adequate financial analysis and frequent auditing of procedures and systems. Determine which aspects of your business would benefit from better monitoring so that you can take better control.

3. Tighten your credit control
Are you happy with the average settlement period of your debtors? Delaying payments is a strategy often used by business customers to maintain their own cashflow, at the detriment of the supplier. Tighter credit control, stricter terms and more pro-active following up of outstanding debts will help ensure the money you are owed is in your account sooner.

4. Reduce your costs
When was the last time you reviewed your suppliers’ prices? Take the opportunity to review your current costs, negotiate better deals with suppliers and identify areas where costs can be lowered. Question whether food waste and packaging may be reduced; are facilities and utilities managed effectively with energy saving procedures implemented wherever possible?

5. Know your market
Do you know what your competitors are doing; have you experienced their products and services lately? Savvy business owners will always keep abreast of what is happening in their local market. Take the time to refresh your market research and knowledge of current trends, analyse your competitors and make sure they are not getting the upper hand.

6. Enhance your customer-focus
How well do you really know your customers and their expectations? Gathering regular customer feedback will help you keep up-to-date with what your customers want and the standards they expect. When service goes wrong, ensure you have effective complaint handling procedures in place to ensure issues are consistently resolved to your customers’ satisfaction.

7. Get creative
Keeping up with your competitors is one thing, staying ahead of them is far better. Are you aware of the next hot trend (your competitors probably are)? Identify new ideas that you can implement in your business to enhance your product and service offering. Utilise your team and engage them to help generate new and improved ways of working in your business, chances are they know your business as well as you do.

8. Explore business growth opportunities
When was the last time you explored new markets for your business? Can you diversify in to new sectors, widen your customer base, or export products further afield? There may be new service offerings you can implement to add further value to your existing customers. Take care to research opportunities thoroughly and assess their viability first though.

9. Utilise your team
It sometimes feels easier doing everything yourself as a business owner/manager, maybe you think you will do a better job than your team, or you just don’t want to let go. Yet do you you ever feel that there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done? Embrace the art of delegation and empower your team to take the lead wherever suitable. Ensure that they are well trained to do so and you will improve employee engagement, as well as creating more time for yourself to work on the business as opposed to in it.

10. Market your business
Is promoting your business still a top priority for you? With a constant stream of new businesses entering the market, keeping yourself at the forefront of your customers’ minds is critical. Take the start of the new year as an occasion to develop a new marketing plan. Ensure it incorporates current marketing strategies and don’t neglect the power of social media.

11. Develop new business
Perhaps with the start of the new year you are considering the start of a new business venture. With 1 in 5 new businesses failing to make it past the first year, getting it right from the start is critical. Ensure you have assessed the feasibility of your business proposal and complete a thorough business plan before investing any more hard earned money.

12. Learn something new
What have you done recently to improve your own performance? Don’t rest on your laurels, stay ahead of your competition by developing yourself and your team at every opportunity. Continuous professional development should be on everyone’s agenda; the industry never stands still, so keeping yourself up to date with best practice is key to long-term success.

13. Give something back
Business is not always just about profits, they have a duty to be socially responsible too. What can you do to give something back to society? Explore opportunities to support relevant charities and work toward more sustainable practices. Not only will this be socially rewarding and enhance your corporate culture, it will create a more positive impression for your customers too.

14. Commit to your objectives
Did you plan to do something this time last year, which still has not been fully achieved? Don’t let another year slip by. Whatever you decide to focus on over the next 12 months, commit to making them a reality and make it happen.
Wishing you every success for the year ahead!

If you want to make a real success of 2014, but are still not 100% certain how to make the most of it, get in touch to see how our consultants may be able to help you reach your goals.

Wishing you every success for the year ahead!

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