We may only just be heading into September, but in business, nothing stays still for long. If you want to get ahead and improve your chances of success, read on for our ways to get your business ready for 2018, including advice on insurance, marketing and cost-cutting.
- Get frugal and start cutting costs
One of the best ways to improve your profitability and help your business move forward is to cut costs wherever you can. You don’t necessarily have to cut the quality of the products or services that you’re offering to economise – you could switch your gas, electricity and broadband providers, for example, or even charge customers for optional extras. So, if you run a bed and breakfast or hotel business, you could take out the free toiletries and other welcome goodies, and ask guests to pay for the benefits instead. These simple cost-cutting measures may seem small, but they can quickly add up and make a big difference.
Money Crashers has put together an excellent guide to cutting costs for your small business – you could use a smart thermostat, power down on non-essential lights and appliances, or even reduce paper use and encourage telecommuting. There are hundreds of great ways to reduce costs, which will, in turn, boost your profit margins and help your business grow.
- Think about your insurance policy
If you’re running a business and rely on cars or vans to get your products from A to B, then it’s essential that you take out the appropriate type of insurance. And, if you’re expanding your business quickly and regularly add new cars and vans to your fleet, you need a provider that you can depend on – that doesn’t cost the earth. The same goes for existing insurance policies – are you paying too much, and could you find a provider that offers a cheaper rate?
One of the best ways to find the best van insurance is to work with a provider such as Call Wiser, who will compare quotes from a panel of more than thirty insurers. What’s more, they offer freebies like RAC breakdown cover and insurance for your smartphone, handbag and gadget – all of which can save you money, hassle and help you on your road to success.
- Invest in a marketing strategy
In today’s digital age, no business can afford not to invest in a marketing strategy. You don’t have to spend thousands of pounds to build brand awareness and traffic to your website, but you should be doing something to boost your digital presence. Make sure you have a website that works on smartphones and tablets, build your social media following by posting regular, relevant content that relates to your niche, and consider the benefits of blogging and content marketing to build your business. It may take time, but it’s worth the effort, and the long-term benefits of high rankings on search engines will help your business thrive.
- Do some research
Whether you’ve been working in your industry for five months or five decades, the chances are that you don’t know everything about your niche. Before 2018 arrives, do some research and see what’s going on. Are you missing out on a new trend? Are your competitors stealing your customers because they’re offering something that you’re not? The more you know about what’s going on outside of your bubble, the easier it’ll be to grow your business.
- Take a break
Don’t get into the mindset that you have to work 24 hours a day to succeed – it’s essential that you take time out of your schedule to take a break and relax. Whether you take a short holiday with your family before the end of the year, book some time off to do work around the house, or simply hand over some of your responsibilities to other members of your team, offloading the pressure will help you. By taking some time to focus on your mental health and well-being, you’ll be able to enter 2018 refreshed and ready to take your business forward. Who knows, when you’re off on your travels, you may even find time to reflect on your business and where you want to take it in the future!
- Review your success
It’s easy for business owners to get stuck in their ways and think that there’s nothing more that they can do to improve their business. Take a step back, and review your current processes. What’s working, what needs to change, and what we can learn from competitors or case studies from the internet? Develop a business strategy for the year ahead, and you’ll be more focused, more determined and more prepared for your growth and success.
These six ways to get your business ready for the year ahead all have something in common –preparation. Invest in the future of your business today, and you’ll be rewarded tomorrow.