Another challenging year has been experienced by small businesses in 2022. However, with the gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions throughout the year, there have been plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs.
It’s time to prepare your small business for what 2022 may bring, whether it’s new and exciting start-ups or rebounds in sectors.
Small and medium-sized businesses should set five key new year’s resolutions for the coming year.
What has 2021 been like for small businesses?
Small businesses faced challenges in 2021, there’s no doubt about that. As a result of most of the restrictions put in place as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic being lifted, there have definitely been some green shoots for small business new year’s resolutions.
The output of small businesses rose at the fastest rate since November 2016 since March, marking the first time in six months that the rate had increased. Over half of the businesses reported no change in turnover compared with normal expectations for the year, although only a few businesses reported a noticeable improvement.
It’s clear that many small businesses have been enjoying a growing sense of optimism as the year has unfolded.
It is largely due to this optimism that the number of new businesses in the UK increased by 14% in the first half of 2021, well above the global average of only 6%. Almost 80 new businesses were created every hour in the UK during this wave of entrepreneurialism, thus proving that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are looking to make up for lost time.
As trade during Covid continues to be a source of concern, improvements in local supply chain solutions have led to SMEs becoming more competitive.
However, starting a new business can appear to be a big accomplishment, but much more hard work lies ahead. A typical new business fails within a year, and 60% of them fail within their first three years.
Therefore, now is the time for your business to position itself for future survival in the UK, because SME growth is booming.
What accounts for the failure of so many SMEs?
As part of starting a business, you must be willing to take risks; while some risks will be rewarded, many others won’t. Many small businesses make some common mistakes that can further complicate their problems. Here are some reasons why small businesses fail:
- Lack of technology use: If your business still struggles to adapt to the latest technological advances and you can’t provide the smooth user journey customers have come to expect, you could be losing out to your competitors.
- Problematic supply chains: Supply chain disruption is a major cause of trouble for UK businesses, and the inability to address these ongoing problems could pose a major threat to your company.
- In terms of security: cybercrime has surged since the pandemic began.
- In addition to lack of talent: small business owners also struggle with missing the right skillsets among their team to grow their businesses. Recruitment should be a priority for the new year.
Small businesses need to get the right advice at the right time, so they should always consult with a financial or legal adviser.
To get off to a positive start in the new year, there are also some essential resolutions that SMEs could make.
1. Make flexibility a priority.
In the UK, having a flexible or hybrid working culture, trying out new technology, or adjusting your supply chains has quickly become a prerequisite for business survival.
When it comes to the financial and legal implications of big business decisions, you should always seek expert advice. However, having flexibility built into your business plan will put it in a great position for another prosperous year.
2. Focus on your employees’ welfare.
A small business is only as healthy as its employees, so make the well-being of your team members one of your goals for the new year.
As your SME grows, having a highly engaged, attentive, and motivated workforce is one of the best ways to run a steady and sustainable business.
3. Analyze your business plan and future plans.
Regardless of how your small business new year’s resolutions performed in 2021, it’s safe to say that many business plans have changed drastically in the last two years.
Timelines and growth projects have been delayed, future goals have been delayed or, in many cases, have been overhauled, and KPIs have been changed.
Small business new year’s resolutions should be to set realistic goals. Consider the timelines and ambitions your business has currently in place and review your business plan.
Consider the lessons you learned from 2021 and any perceived challenges you may face on the uncertain road ahead, and make sure they are taken into consideration when planning what you want to achieve in 2022.
4. Hire the right talent.
Labor shortages in the UK are proving to be a persistent issue across many sectors. Recruitment is one of the crucial areas where many SMEs will sink or swim in 2022 as Brexit adds additional complications to hiring international workers and certain sectors struggle to recover in the wake of the pandemic.
The business may need to look at skills gaps in the team, whether it could benefit from more hands on deck for the upcoming year, or if it might need to restructure certain areas to improve efficiency.
No matter what your new year’s recruitment resolutions are, be prepared to present a competitive offering to attract and retain the best talent in 2022.
5. Make sure your online presence is strong.
Simply put, if you don’t rank on search engines or aren’t visible on social media, small business new year’s resolutions are going to struggle.
The majority of sales are now made online, so if your business doesn’t have a strong online presence, you should make your resolution to improve your online presence one of your top priorities in the new year.
In today’s uncertain business climate in which ongoing global pandemics may stretch into 2022, you need a trusted adviser to advise you on how to grow your business.
You can find an adviser to match your needs on Best Bizz, whatever expertise or support you need.