As more Covid restrictions are lifted, the majority of business owners are longing for an upturn in demand and a return to more prosperous times. But this is something that won’t happen without planning and preparation, managing the current challenges and forecasting for the future too.

Where relationships and global and local supply chains have been severely hit, companies have sought solutions to keep operating and create an edge in the marketplace that is more than just price-led. A business that can focus on turning fortunes around by reducing inefficiencies, finding new revenue sources and offering long-term value to customers has the best chance of thriving.

As in all changing economic times, SMEs play a vital role in driving growth. An internal focus is necessary for survival in tough times and the strongest companies are those that can refocus outwards to identify and adapt to any new opportunities presented.

At CRM, we are very proud to share our expertise and knowledge with clients through our Business Improvement Programme.  Within a solid accounting framework, ‘making the numbers work’ is always our primary focus, but we developed the 8 Step Business Improvement Programme to guide and mentor business owners and managers who want to take control of their future performance and results.

Different businesses manage the process of balancing risks and maximising opportunities, so the 8 Steps will vary for each. The programme is specifically tailored and the 8 Steps follow a continuous loop of improvement, according to fluctuating goals. So how do you manage business improvement without exposing your organisation to yet more risk? Here are four pointers:

  1. Your finance strategy
    Borrowing to grow may be challenging but there are a number of funding options available in order to spread the risk. Getting hold of more working capital allows you to make more accurate predictions and react to market changes – enabling expansion whilst keeping existing business activities steady.

 

  1. Your business plan
    You probably adapted your business plan to cope with the past year, but have you prepared it for an upturn? How will your business remain sustainable with the right people and products to grow? Managing risk in a changing marketplace will be critical and this should be reflected in your business plan. Make sure you review your plan regularly so that you can remain flexible and agile.

 

  1. Your people
    Hopefully with the help of government support such as the Furlough scheme, your business will have retained all staff but if not, you may have a skills gap to address. A new direction for the business may also require employees with different abilities. Now is the time to analyse the capabilities of your workforce and identify any requirements through training and/or recruitment. This is also a good time to consider the reward and engagement structures you have in place to hold on to the best staff members.

 

  1. Your marketing
    Marketing budgets can be the first to suffer during hard times so it is imperative that you assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategy to ensure your messaging and resources are focused on attracting and retaining the best customers. Has your USP changed since the pandemic? Have new opportunities or markets opened up that should be addressed in your marketing strategy?

 

If you need help to focus on the route out of the recent crisis, the CRM 8 Step Business Improvement Programme could be exactly what you need. For more information, check out the website or call the team on 01865 379272.

Sage Accountant Partner Logoiris kashflowFreeagent