Different ways that SMEs can grow in 2014

With 2014 just around the corner, and the economic recovery slowly getting into full swing, the time has come to look ahead.


Throughout the last few years in recession-hit Britain, many SMEs have been careful not to overinvest and protect what they have.


But now the outlook for 2014 suggests they can look to expand, although there are still a few stumbling blocks to watch out for.


Cash flow management


Finances for a company are vital as they cover the running costs and payment of staff, while any expansion will also require funding.


Careful management of the cash flow is required otherwise many SMEs can face financial strife which can lead to company administration and liquidation in the worst cases.


Making savings


Little savings, such as on energy and tax allowances, can provide a little bit extra cash that can be used elsewhere in the business.


Agreeing cheaper deals with suppliers on costs such as rent can represent even greater savings in the long-term that allow for alternative investment.


Retain custom


Customers tend to spend less in times of hardship, so keeping customers coming back for more is essential to running the business.


Ways of showing a customer is valued can help as can participating in local initiatives – which can increase the reputation of the company as well as acting as a marketing tool.


High standards of service


Building a reputation for exceptional service is likely to keep the customers coming back and good news can travel very quickly.


Efficient service coupled with fast delivery and flexible payment terms will help to persuade consumers that the service is worth using.


Up-skilling staff


Not only does this cut the amount of training that is required, but it also shows existing staff that their efforts are appreciated.


Personal development can drive productivity and can ensure that staff retain their position as the company’s most important assets.


Restructure to save


If a particular aspect of a business is making losses then corporate restructuring can help alleviate or remove these issues.


This can streamline the company and make it a better prospect for potential investors, as well as to customers.


By Phil Smith


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