No one could have predicted 2020. The year brought with it a rollercoaster of emotions that one had never seen, experienced or even heard of in the past. It also had a great impact on SME businesses. As the world embraced a ‘new normal’ in the form of quarantine restrictions, social distancing and lockdowns, the world of business pivoted online, to ensure its survival and in fulfilling its commitment to its customers. SME businesses in India especially looked at two contrasting sets of fortunes at the beginning of 2020 and now, at its tail end. While the pandemic isn’t done yet, it is time for SME businesses and their owners to prepare themselves for a more robust and successful future.
Here’s a list of ten resolutions that every SME business owner must take to ensure their company’s future remains bright:
Chart out realistic organizational processes
While businesses, big or small, always aimed for the stars, it is time, we approached a more realistic vision and set out on achieving it. Processes from the bedrock of a business, and by charting out realistic goals in fine-tuning these processes, SME businesses can create a system that is both sustainable and adaptive to real-time changes. One can start by looking at what worked and what did not. This simple analysis can help owners rewrite their processes for the better.
Relook your business plan
Writing down a business plan is one of the first activities an entrepreneur carries out. This is because a business plan provides an entrepreneur with a road map for where the business has to go. From seeking out a partner to a loan, a business plan charts out the necessary milestones that can help an entrepreneur foresee the events ahead. A business plan is a critical piece of document for every business, and in these times, it is imperative for entrepreneurs to relook at them to see the changes necessary in them.
Rethink your marketing plan
Along with the unprecedented nature of the year, SME businesses had to look at new and improvised marketing plans to deal with the circumstances. Entrepreneurs must monitor what worked and what didn’t from the year to rethink their marketing objectives. This process can also help marketeers draw relevant insights and strategies that can help SME businesses in fine-tuning their marketing spends to get the best value for their investment.
Create a hassle-free end-to-end customer service
In the case of an SME business, one cannot lay enough emphasis on how important customer service is. Excellent customer service ensures a customer for a lifetime. SME businesses must invest in the necessary tools to chart out the missteps and ways to rectify them for the future. These missteps can also be treated as learnings for the experience an SME business is charting out for its future.
Networking is key
Networking is never given its due share of recognition, mainly because it is never seen as a form of work that necessitates any outcome for the business. However, networking is crucial for owners of SME businesses, as it helps improve the odds of finding and learning some valuable information or generating a new lead or just for the sake of forging a professional relationship. Networking has to be let go as an afterthought and must be considered as a to-do activity to see the potential it has.
No SME business owner wants to ever part their ways from any of the processes. Entrepreneurs take pride in managing different functionalities and roles in a business, right from lifting it off the ground. By outsourcing, an entrepreneur can focus their energies on tasks that they are best suited for. From creative marketing functionalities, to finance, to administrative tasks SME businesses can outsource these to other software(s) or dedicated teams, ensuring the activity is carried out effectively and efficiently.
Technology is bound to make our lives simpler. But that’s possible only when we harness it completely. SME businesses must look for areas that can be automated and must embrace it completely. From managing inventory to invoicing, to bookkeeping, SME businesses can automate these processes to cut down errors and costs.
Build a presence
One of the things that 2020 has taught us is how important an online presence can be. When a company has a website, it marks its presence across audience, sales and marketing channels, helping brand recognition and being the center point of customer service. It also helps people find the brand organically through search engines, providing them with useful contact information whenever it is needed.
Build a culture
Every SME business relies on its employees to build its product or service. And for this very reason, it is important for an SME business to lay down a culture that harnesses synergy. By building a culture of satisfied employees, businesses can have satisfied employees, who become the first round of customers for the very business they are working for. One can also find out the discrepancies through their employees, who want to ensure a good, and safe working space for everybody.
Avoid burning out
2020 has been hard on almost everybody. From working longer and harder than usual to combating changing circumstances every day, SME businesses have had to embrace a new league of challenges. While hard work still remains to be the last name of an entrepreneur, one must ensure that they don’t burn out from continued levels of stress.
At times like these, it is the decisions we make that define the character of our business and ourselves. These bouts of inspiration in the form of resolution can help entrepreneurs kickstart their 20201 dreams for the better.