Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

How Sussex small businesses can keep growing in the New Year

A new year means many different things for small businesses. The Surrey Kent Sussex SME Growth 100 listing, for one, celebrates and commends the business growth and performance that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have shown in the past year. These outstanding SMEs span various sectors, from travel and hotels to food and dining, and have succeeded in boosting sales and setting expansion plans into motion

More so than recounting business achievements, it’s also necessary to ensure that this performance is maintained and that Sussex small businesses keep growing in the new year. As business owners sit down and plan ahead for 2023, here are some crucial aspects that need to be considered to achieve higher financial and operational goals.

sussex small business
Investing in staff management and well-being
It’s an undeniable fact that employees are the backbone of every SME. Managing your staff involves creating a workplace culture that centres on personal and professional growth through ongoing skills, training, and career advancement opportunities. Besides instilling supportive management, business owners must also invest in staff mental health and well-being, especially since the transition between the end of the year and the start of a new one can be a stressful period for employees.

A report by Oxford Economics reveals that SMEs incur costs when they fail to take care of their employees and have to replace them, which can run up to nearly £30,614 per employee. An effective well-being programme doesn’t have to be expensive; you can cultivate empathy and compassion for your staff through self-care webinars, regular check-ins, and team gatherings.


Upgrading in-store tech and tools
Your day-to-day business operations are made possible by a variety of equipment and digital technology. On top of periodic checks to ensure the functionality of your in-store tech and tools, the new year is a prime time to evaluate whether it’s time to make upgrades.

As transportation and parking in the Sussex area are innovating their payment systems, payment solutions for small businesses must also catch up by accepting a wide range of payment methods from card to contactless. Whether you use a card machine, mobile card reader, or virtual terminal, the ease and convenience of payment equipment come with safety and security for your customers and their account information.

In line with the Safer Sussex Business Partnership that aims to address crimes and worker abuse affecting approximately 38% of wholesale and retail stores, it’s also crucial to upgrade your security cameras and surveillance systems for improved intelligence sharing and reporting mechanisms with the police.

sussex small business support
Taking advantage of external funding

The beginning of the year is the best time to expand your funding sources so you can aim for higher goals and targets. Creative businesses in West Sussex are particularly eligible for government-funded support for SMEs, which they can use to finance a wider distribution of culture, media, and the arts, as well as to develop knowledge and skills for accessing private sector investment. With sustainability efforts becoming more mainstream in the entrepreneurial landscape, SMEs who integrate environmentally and economically sustainable practices into their business models are also highly likely to receive grants or seed funds from investors.

The growth of Sussex SMEs is also made possible by business owners supporting each other. You can start getting in touch with local businesses from this directory. Instead of merely treating your fellow entrepreneurs as competitors, it keeps the local economy alive and thriving when you purchase each other’s products and services and even collaborate on local initiatives and projects.
 

More from Features

  • Interview: Comedian Connor Burns brings his Vertigo tour to Sussex

    With his new touring show Vertigo about to arrive in Sussex, we talk to Scottish comedian Connor Burns

  • Home Style: Romantic Vision

    Tim and Jenny Backshall rescued a derelict timber-framed hall house, respecting its history while future proofing for generations to come

  • Be Well, Move Happy: Connections & Sports

    In the second month of this new health column, Sara Whatley looks at the health benefits of connecting with others and joining a sports club

  • Occupation: Weird and Wonderful

    Kevin Newman is a Sussex-born author, historian, tour guide and history teacher. He has written extensively about Sussex history and here, he shares with us an insight into how some local folk made their living in days gone by

  • Understanding Mental Health

    Mental health charity MIND’s ‘Time To Talk Day' on 1 February is all about opening up conversations around mental health. With this in mind, Adele Trathan explores understanding and recognising mental health issues and ways to access help

  • Money Matters: Food for Thought

    How does your household expenditure on groceries compare to the average UK household? Adele Trathan explores what we spend on food shopping and ways to help the weekly budgeting

  • Stunning Sussex: A County Blessed With Beaches And Greenery

    Sussex has always been a popular county and continues to attract a growing number of professionals, young families and retirees keen to take advantage of its healthy balance of beach and countryside living...

  • Most Popular Mocktails To Try This Dry January

    Fancy giving dry January a go? Then we have the perfect selection of mocktails for you to make this year. And some are easier than you think!

  • These are things you'll want to know about skincare in 2024

    Less is more. Don’t get conned. It’s a scam. These are the sorts of phrases you will hear Consultant Dermatologist Dr Natalia Spierings saying about the skincare industry. She candidly speaks to Sara Whatley about ageing, menopause, Botox, and ‘Big Skincare’

  • Step to it! Embrace fitness and health in 2024

    Step boldly into 2024 embracing all aspects of fitness and health from the online to the in person. Sara Whatley discusses what’s trending this year...

  • Is moderation the answer? Sara Whatley discusses the merits of a non alcoholic Christmas

    Whether you are enjoying an alcoholic beverage or a temperance drink this Christmas, the key to drinking well is moderation, suggests Sara Whatley

  • Five Ways To Modernise Your Kitchen

    They say the way to most people’s hearts is through their stomachs. Therefore, the adage of the kitchen being ‘the heart of the home’ holds very true in this day and age, particularly as the winter chill encourages indoor hospitality...

  • Christmas Gems: Stocking Fillers That Are Extra Special

    Advertising Feature: With the Christmas lights officially switched on and twinkling decorations adorning high streets across Sussex, the countdown of shopping days remaining until the big day has well and truly begun...

  • What To Do If You Suffer An Accident On Holiday

    Holidays are meant to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. However, accidents and illnesses can happen even when you are away. If you suffer an injury or become ill during your trip abroad, it is important to know how to handle the situation properly. Being prepared and understanding the steps to take after an incident can help travellers respond in the best way, when faced with an unexpected health emergency.

  • London Travel Report: A Tale of Two Exceptional Hotels

    Advertising Feature: As the winter chill begins to embrace us and the festive season beckons, Bill Murray and his wife have embarked on a delightful journey from the serene south coast to the bustling heart of London...

  • Autumn In Your Garden

    Autumn is a transitional month in the garden, as the vibrant colours of summer fade into the warm hues of autumn.

  • Autumn Fashion Tips for Women

    As the leaves change and the temperatures drop, Autumn brings a shift in fashion choices for women in the UK. It's a month that allows for creative and comfortable styling, blending the warmth of autumn with the anticipation of winter. Here are three fashion tips for women to stay stylish and cozy in Autumn:

  • It’s time for a new hobby

    Embracing a hobby is a wonderful idea for women in the UK, offering a plethora of benefits that enhance overall well-being and personal growth. Here are several reasons why it's a fantastic idea for women in the UK to engage in hobbies:

  • Tips & tricks to help you have a budget friendly Christmas

    This year the cost of living crisis, rising fuel bills and rampant inflation will make affording Christmas much harder than usual. Yet, you can still enjoy a magical Christmas on a budget, and we’ve put together some ideas to help you embrace the festive season with minimal cost.

  • How to take stunning family photographs

    Capturing cherished moments with your family is a beloved pastime, and with smartphones becoming increasingly advanced in terms of photography, you can easily take stunning family photos. Here are three valuable tips for taking better family photos with your smartphone, relevant to those living in the UK: