Tips on ways to prepare small business
Johannesburg – Impact Investing at Business Partners Limited general manager David Morobe has provided tips on how to get ready to face 2023 with renewed determination in business.
He says in the post-pandemic world, good customer service can make or break a business, due to the hyper-competitive nature of the current small and medium enterprise (SME) landscape.
“Customer experience has therefore been identified as one of the key ways that SMEs can set themselves apart in today’s marketplace. Take this time to examine whether your customer experience is optimised in a way that nurtures a sale, from the beginning to the end of the sales journey, and that you make a lasting impression. When customers have a positive experience they will be more likely to provide your business a positive review, share their experience with others and return for a repeat sale. The cost of upselling to an existing customer is less than on-boarding a new one, so focus on building a loyal customer base in the years to come,” Morobe says.
Weaknesses will be anything that is currently standing in the way of your growth and could include factors such as an inefficient sales or invoicing process, outdated digital systems or poor team spirit.
“Opportunities are external factors and can include any gap in the market or well-timed marketing tactic that you could take proactively to grow your business. Threats are also regarded as external factors and will include any aspects that may be standing in the way of expanding your business. These could include more stringent regulations, rising material costs and changing consumer demands,” he says.
He adds that in the retail industry for example, more small businesses are finding ways to adapt to the global call for sustainable production and distribution.
“With changing consumer demands, ensuring that your operations are cleaner and greener may very well be what you need to get ahead of your competitors in the new year. Another one of the most prominent trends in retail has been the move towards more efficiency and accessibility in the mobile payments space. This year it may make sense for you to invest in a payment app, a digital wallet system, a buy-now-pay-later option or a QR code payment system to add a new level of convenience to your offering, with the main aim of keeping your cash flow looking healthy,” he says.
He adds that one of the first things to master as an entrepreneur is how to write a detailed business plan.
“You may do this to keep written detail of future plans, on-board a business partner, apply for business funding or pitch your idea to a potential investor. But your business plan should not be left to stagnate once you have achieved your end goal. As you wind down operations at the end of the year, look back at your business plan and review your strategy and goals, assess whether your forecasting has been accurate, make adjustments for market fluctuations, find ways to maximise your bottom-line and keep an eye out for any over-spending,” Morobe says.