January is always a good time for SMEs to reflect on achievements and challenges for the past 12 months, while preparing for the year ahead.
Jesse Weinberg, head of the SME Customer Segment at FNB Business, unpacks key steps that entrepreneurs should consider to ensure a successful 2019.
• Review 2018 goals – business owners should review their short-term goals regularly in order measure progress and learn from their past mistakes.
• Get your finances in order – given the tough economic conditions, it is essential for businesses to ensure that their finances are always in order. Having a positive cash flow at the beginning of the year will help SMEs weather any unforeseen events that may potentially disrupt an unprepared business.
• Stay ahead of competition – actively monitor the activities of your closest competitors and how the market responds to their goods or services. This will help you identify any shortcomings in your business, allowing you adequate time to address them.
• Meet customer needs – the most practical way to measure customer satisfaction is to communicate directly with the recipients of your goods or services. Online reviews and social media are good platforms for getting feedback.
• Celebrate success – business owners often mistakenly focus on challenges and negatives when reviewing their performance and goals.