Quick tips for succeeding as an SME in 2019

By Rosana Beechum

Running an SME is always a difficult challenge. Trying to succeed by adding more customers, greater sales revenue and ultimately, higher profitability is even harder.

Here are quick tips to push an SME to greater heights in 2019.

Operate the business in a leaner fashion

The unpredictability of the economy with everything that’s been going on in the last few years should be clear to all small business owners by now. The speed of innovation and the need to stay financially nimble suggests that companies should operate in a lean fashion.

Operating leaner means being more fiscally responsible about how you conduct business and spend money. Looking for the most value for money with each purchase – the longer-lasting solution rather than the least expensive one – reduces the cost per month of each expense. Putting off unnecessary or non-critical spending and eliminating unnecessary spending completely saves money.

The benefit of running leaner is a lower monthly cost to operating the business and more retained earnings. This helps a company weather a temporary decline in sales between product release cycles or to invest in new ideas. This is possible because the business didn’t waste money on flights of fancy.

Send staff to business conferences

To do better, employees have to know better. This is not only achievable through multi-year degrees or short courses. Getting the inside scoop on the latest thinking and new approaches to old problems requires being exposed to fresh ideas. Attending business conferences, like office manager conferences 2019 for employees filling this role, provides staff with new tools they didn’t have before. In turn, this increases the company’s business IQ with an infusion of smarter, new strategies and approaches they didn’t have access to before.

Attending conferences is also a great opportunity to do a little low-key marketing. For example Bevi, which produces water dispensers for offices and other venues, their staff attend conferences to gain insights into new concepts while also spreading the word in the B2B marketplace.

Reassess funding to reduce the cost to the business

The funding that’s accessed early in the life of a new business is different to what’s available when it’s standing on more secure ground. As the perceived risk of lending falls following several years of stable performance and steadily increasing bottom-line profitability, there’s the opportunity to reconsider existing credit lines, business loans, and the overall cost of finance.

By taking the time to look at the balance sheet, liabilities especially, you can reassess where your funding originates and whether you’re now able to access more advantageous funding opportunities. This might involve repaying existing loans or closing lines of credit early when receiving lower-cost alternative funding that can assist in bankrolling your continued expansion.

It’s a good idea to take a step back from the business every once in a while. This provides much needed perspective that’s difficult to obtain when running the business virtually every day. Only by seeing it realistically with all its failings can changes be made to improve its fortunes.


Rosana Beechum is a UK business and marketing graduate from Nottingham Trent University who shares her knowledge through written articles for small business owners.


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