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.
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.
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.