Things are finally starting to look up in the UK this autumn with official figures showing growth of 1% between July and September this year, ending a nine-month long recession.
The celebrations may be modest and the road to recovery a long one but the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) predicts that growth will gradually pick up speed over the next 2 years and some reports are suggesting that the UK is in a stronger position than much of the rest of Europe .
So it is not surprising that the British government has seized the opportunity to talk up the prospects for growth.
“We must enable as many UK businesses as possible to start to grow and hire more people”, says Business Minister Michael Fallon.
And how will small businesses respond? Well now could be a really good time to assess future prospects and to take some steps to prepare for growth. So what is required?
According to the experts, good financial management is key, so perhaps that is the best place to start. A simple audit will give you an idea of whether you are managing your cash flow to the best of your ability. The website Business News & Strategy For Entrepreneurs | Entrepreneur.com has some great tips and suggests drawing up a detailed projection of cash due to come in and go out over the next year, quarter or even week so you know what to expect. Then you can start looking at little tricks and incentives to persuade creditors to pay on time and to keep a firm grip on your own outgoings. You can arrange lines of credit with the bank to cover any projected shortfalls and you can get your ducks in a row for any future investment and expansion as well.
It is also worth thinking about introducing a system which allows you to get your hands easily on all this financial data – one that integrates with all your other processes like procurement, supply chain and customer relations. By opting for something in “the cloud” you can make your data available to many users wherever they are, at work, on the go or even at home. You may not have a big staff who need access to this information right now, but many solutions like SAP’s Business By Design allow you to add users as you need them and also to add on new processes as the need arises.
Small businesses often take off very quickly through the sheer drive of their owner, but the ones that continue to succeed are the ones which put processes in place allowing others to come on board. A dynamic entrepreneur can’t do everything and might make costly mistakes by spreading themselves too thin but by allowing others to come in and sweat the small stuff they can continue to make good decisions and to grow – which of course provides more jobs and the boost needed by the economy.
About the author…
Caroline Atkinson has 20 years experience in Financial Solutions and is Director of Business Development at In Cloud Solutions. For more information on how SAP ByDesign can help your business, please visit http://incloudsolutions.co.uk/
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