Savvy SME Business Tips

businessSmall to medium businesses often have it tough in today’s commercial market. There always seems to be a more prominent player that has access to extra resources to contend with. It is possible though for smaller businesses to not only survive but thrive if they are savvy and go the extra mile.

Take Care of Your Staff

First of all, when it comes to small businesses the satisfaction of your staff is absolutely crucial. Therefore it’s essential to take care of them in as many ways as you can. Such care may include having a strict policy about bullying and enforcing this, as well as offering additional bonuses for work well done and targets that are reached.

You can show your staff that they are appreciated by making a necessary activity such a training a bit more of an enjoyable experience. This is something you can do by using an outside catering company to provide delicious snacks and treats come training day. Alternatively, you may even try taking them off-site for a day to a convention centre, or even a hotel where you can combine fun and work, a strategy that is a sure-fire way to get you some kudos with your team.

Make Use of Tech and Social Media

Next, to survive in the world of SMEs, it’s vital that you keep your costs as low as possible while ensuring that you connect with and successfully market your brand and product to your target demographic. Luckily, you can do this quickly and cheaply by using social media and various IT tech to your advantage.

If you choose to promote items on your social media platforms, it’s free to set up, and you can reach a broad audience. You will always add a human element to your brand and create a positive reputation.

There are also some fab apps that you can use to create visually exciting and dynamic content to feature on your social media accounts. Something that will help your SME grab the attention of the demographic you are hoping to connect with.

Treat Your Business Customers Well

Lastly, it’s pretty significant to remember that the customer is the lifeblood of the SME. What this means is that the focus of your service, and product should be on what the customer experiences and gains by using it.

With that in mind, rigorous product testing, as well as AB testing for your online presence is a smart move. You will be able to see what options your customers will be most pleased with, and respond to most effectively.

Also, providing top level customer service at not just the point of sale but also before and after can help to create a positive relationship that can be leveraged for repeat sales and even promotion by superfans later on.

It is vitally important that your business be easily contactable and available at all times, something you can use social media to facilitate. Although, it’s always a smart idea to provide alternative methods as well such as email, helpline phone numbers, written addresses, and even website chat boxes if you want your SME to thrive in the long term.

Be transparent and consistent in how you run your business, be true to your brand values, go above and beyond for customers and treat your staff well. That is how you run a thriving small business.

Sustainability Tips for SMEs

Sustainability
 
There are many challenges facing small businesses these days and while overcoming those hurdles business owners are also looking to go the extra mile to stay true to their own brand values. For example, to be green, to stay true to set ethical values, to support other local enterprises or even national concerns such as charities. 
In addition to this, with increased regulation and growing public awareness of environmental concerns, sustainability is a topic that no business can ignore. Sustainability is something to constantly consider and to plan for.
 

The Challenges Facing SMEs

The commercial marketplace is always evolving, and SMEs face daily challenges to stay competitive. As a result, more than 70 percent find that they lack the resources to put their sustainability plans into action. Most realise that sustainability is an important topic, but if it is not something that directly impacts the bottom line, it is inevitably deprioritised.

There is also a question of know-how. An SME will not have experts on hand to tackle sustainability issues and draw up a strategy along the lines of the larger companies. But that doesn’t mean you can do nothing.

Benefits of Implementing Sustainability in SMEs

These are challenges that apply to SMEs across the board in all industries. The first step is always the hardest, and it is as much about mindset as anything else. Look at the benefits that a sustainability strategy can bring, particularly in a sector where the competition is slow to get started.

For one thing, you will find that your brand image gains a welcome boost. Today’s consumers are savvy people, and you will attract a whole new demographic that is willing to pay more for a product or service from a sustainable supplier.

For another, you will find that many of the simple measures you can adopt will have direct financial benefits.

Simple Sustainability Strategies

You don’t need a 100-page strategy to improve sustainability in your business, all it really takes is some common sense. Here are some examples:

 

  • Recycling – This goes beyond bins for bottles and drink cans and can run through the entire business. Speak to your printer toner manufacturer or supplier about what to do with old toners, and introduce a policy that if paper has only been used on one side, it gets fed back into the printer. Costs and consumption will reduce dramatically.
  • LED lightingLEDs make the office environment a nicer place to be and use far less electricity. They also last longer than conventional light bulbs. 
  • Car pooling – Offer incentives for employees to car pool. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, and will increase office morale as people get to know each other better and save themselves some fuel costs.
  • Get everyone involved – make sustainability a topic that everyone is involved in, and ask the team to come up with ideas for new ways the business can reduce its carbon footprint – usually, this will also result in saving money.

 

 

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