10 ways to take your business forward in 2018
How you could really make this a year to remember
The start of any new year provides the perfect opportunity to look ahead with increased energy and enthusiasm. You may also be able do a range of things that enable you to take your small business onto a whole new level of success. So, how could you take your business growth forward in 2018?
1. Buy another business
Making a strategic acquisition, possibly one of you key competitors, could give you a far greater market share. It could give you access to new products or services that you can sell to your existing customers, or it might mean you then bring in staff with knowledge or experience you don’t currently have.
- Find out more about buying another business.
2. Improve your cash flow
Having poor cash flow can hamper your ambitions to grow your business. Why not make 2018 the year that you really get to grips with your cash flow, by minimising your costs, maximising your margins, tightening up your credit control and working with budgets and reliable cash flow forecasts?
- Learn more about how to manage your cash flow.
3. Launch a new product or service
Get it right and it could attract many new customers to your business or enable you to sell more to existing buyers. A PR and marketing campaign to publicise your new offering could raise your market profile and enable you to sell more of your other products and services. Why not really transform your fortunes by creating something truly innovative?
- Find out how to create a new product.
4. Diversify into new markets for business success
Diversifying simply means to try something completely new, usually by introducing or launching a product or service you haven’t previously been known for. Diversification can also mean to target a new sector by selling your existing products or services, when sound market research is essential.
5. Move to new premises
Your current home might be seriously restricting your growth ambitions or it may not simply be in the best location. Maybe it’s finally time to take your home-based business to the next stage in its development, by finding your first commercial premises.
- Read information about how to find the right premises for growth.
6. Start selling to customers overseas
It can be a proven way to achieve significant growth, as you might not be able to sell any more to your UK customers. According to Exporting is GREAT: “85% of companies say exporting has led to a level of growth not otherwise possible”. Selling overseas can also mitigate the risk of relying solely on UK sales.
- Find out how to become an exporter.
7. Fuel your business growth with a business mentor
Business mentors are normally highly experienced and successful people who are willing to share their knowledge with business owners who want to learn and become more successful. Mentors can offer general advice or have specific expertise (eg finance or selling overseas), functioning as trustworthy confidant and advisers.
8. Bring in new talent
New people often bring new ideas, knowledge, experience and contacts, which can really help your business to progress – as long as you make good recruitment decisions. You must attract the right candidates and know how interview them if you are to make the right choice.
- Read best-practice guidance on how to recruit staff
9. Secure angel investment
Business angels are wealthy, entrepreneurial types who invest cash for a share of a business, which also benefits from their knowledge, experience and contacts. They invest alone or with others and deals worth between £10,000 and £500,000 are common (up to £2m for syndicate angel investments). They usually expect a return on their investment within three to eight years.
- For more information visit the UK Business Angels Association website
10. Really raise your profile
Good publicity can increase sales, so why not do much more PR in 2018? Enter more awards, do more networking, take a stand at trade shows, go to more events, sponsor more things. Write more blogs and put yourself forward to journalists as an expert on your sector or on small-business issues. Become more active on social media.
- Find out how to do your own PR.