Britain’s SMEs share Their New Year Resolutions and Action Plans Business A new year always presents an opportunity to start afresh. New policies, ideas and strategies geared at helping businesses achieve their quarterly projections or annual objectives usually start in the first week of January. While some companies make minor adjustments to their current operations, others do a complete overhaul. Whatever your business strategy, the idea is to achieve your goals faster and with less costs. In this article, we collated a few new year resolutions from some SME entrepreneurs in the UK. Budgeting The majority of UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have cost cutting on their plans for the new year. This should come as no surprise considering many business owners are sceptical about the hard Brexit negotiations of the past few months. Budgeting and managing a financial calendar is a common concept for small businesses around the world. Creating a bill fund for unexpected outgoings or investing in quality business insurance is the best way to avoid unplanned costs, especially for retail spaces which encounter a great deal of traffic. Staff development A recent survey also revealed certain sector-specific trends. Majority of manufacturing firms plan to upskill their employees in the new year, while retail, fashion and beauty shops are focused on expanding store presence around the UK. Employee training is a priority especially as most manufacturing companies hire migrant labourer. About 20% of the labourers in the UK are EU migrants. To buffer up the possible effect of Brexit, many small business owners are training their British staff. Investment in digital marketing Enterprises in the creative sector are directing their funds towards online marketing and digital advertising. This approach provides a more accountable marketing technique which is key to cost reduction. Email marketing, social media engagements and SEO are favourable alternatives to traditional marketing. For businesses with limited funds, they are great ways to take control of your overall budget for the new year. Getting closer to the customer According to Scot, CEO of a recruitment matching firm, his company will increase its focus on customer relationships. “While our current engagement rates are impressive, we believe that few companies create a lasting positive experience for the end customer and we want to be recognised as one of them,” he says. Another sector that cherishes customer relationships is hospitality. A significant number of hotel managers agree that they want to be the first choice for accommodation among tourists. Increasing reward points for customers was a common strategy during the Christmas holidays. Acquiring funding and increasing staff Tech startups are looking to shore up funds for their business in 2018. According to Henry, CEO of an eco-tech start up, SMEs need money to remain competitive and scale to new markets. “We are hoping to secure £8 million to expand our MVP and double our current workforce. Finding people with the right fit, replicating our business ethos and creating true product differentiation are among our core plans for 2018,” he says. A second area Henry hopes will improve business expansion is open communications. This will prevent the team from being bogged down with countless emails and meetings. “Instead, they will spend more time doing the things they love,” says Henry. Cost reduction, expansion, staff development, digital marketing, customer relationships and fund raising appear to be the main strategies for these SMEs this year. What’s yours?