08 Jul Stagnation or Growth? Tips to buck the trend
First, let’s acknowledge that the Australian economy is not growing as fast as some businesses would like it to. Sluggish is a word that has been used frequently over the past few years. This is multiplied by the fact that our not so bright economic performance is far superior to what is happening abroad, particularly in Europe.
The CPA Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey 2013 demonstrated that Australian small businesses, although more confident in their respective economies in 2014, are slightly less confident in the growth prospects for their business in 2014 than they were in 2013. The most challenging issues for all markets during 2013 were increasing cost pressures and competition – these issues have continue to prove difficult for many small businesses during 2014.
The views expressed by our networks and clients is that they are quite upbeat about the current economic outlook. Below are some of the strategies implemented by our businesses that could help you buck the trend:
1. Focus more on business management practices, such as cost control while also prioritising customer retention and investing in innovation.
2. Ensure you receive timely financial performance reporting so you can promptly revise your strategy if need be.
3. Engage a consultant to conduct a business health check. Most will do a high level review on an investment basis, yet the findings, opportunities and recommendations could be life changing!
4. Network, network, network and more networking! It is important to continue to create meaningful relationships with networks and to convert those relationships into customers.
5. Dont strip back on promotions that have proven effective, in fact increase them. It is likely your competitors will do the opposite, increasing your market share.
6. Continue to upskill and if cost is a concern, use resources such as small business associations and other government small business support structures.
7. Allow yourself to dream—and dream big—it’s only through such thinking that great things happen. Not dreaming big enough is one of the biggest mistakes you can make—if you can’t see your dream, how do you expect others to?
Despite the above, business success, even during good times rarely “just happens”. Business success requires a strong focus on the business fundamentals, such as cashflow management, forecasting, budgeting, customer retention and investment back into the business. Refer to UPTURN™ Virtual CFO Services to understand how we can help you achieve financial interdependence.