How planning and timekeeping can boost SMEs

One in three SMEs are so overwhelmed by day to day activities that they are unable to focus on plans for sustaining business growth, new research suggests.


According to Exact and the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, 36% of SMEs do not have the time to research funding and growth opportunities.


As a result, these firms are unsure of how to achieve their targets although companies that are operationally efficient have a greater chance of success.


Those with good timekeeping are 20% more likely to show growth and display profits than those whose time management is poor.


Some 70% of companies that believe they have industry average or above operational efficiency reported profits, compared to 50% with below average efficiency.


Just three firms in the survey recorded 100% sales growth or greater – all of them classed their operational efficiency as good.


Good time management in business is essential to ensuring the completion of all required jobs yet the research suggests only one quarter of SMEs viewed the situation in that way.


Recent Government statistics also suggested that growth is not guaranteed among the UK’s 4.9 million small and medium sized businesses.


The data suggests that 68% of those firms targeted growth in 2014 but that only 13% actually achieved it.


As a result, it is important to manage time effectively so that business plans can be developed with clear goals towards expansion and positive sales.


Planning for what the future could hold is essential to companies pushing to record or maintain profits, as unexpected costs could derail progress.


While some funds should be kept spare to deal with such incidents, considering business restructuring is also an option as it could help to streamline the way a company is run.


It’s essential that SMEs do not ignore the importance of time, as it is a valued commodity that requires wise investment.


By Phil Smith


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