By Jen Johnson, Revolut Contributor
With the stroke of midnight on January 1st, we welcomed not just a new year, but an entirely new decade. Now’s the time to make the most of those “fresh start” feelings and set some bold goals for your business. While everyone at the helm of an SME wants to increase turnover or bring in new clients, it’s worth thinking outside the box when it comes to your targets. Some creative planning will give you a competitive edge in the year ahead.
Placing a renewed focus on staff wellbeing, for instance, could help to improve morale while boosting workplace satisfaction. Meanwhile, putting some extra effort into your web presence will boost your brand’s visibility. As with any resolution, it’s important that your business goals are ambitious while still being achievable – we’ve got a few suggestions to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Get more rest
First things first, you can start the year with some self care. And there’s no stronger foundation for a positive day than a good night’s sleep. Busy business owners are likely to shun shuteye in favour of an early start or a late night in front of the laptop. But science shows that this isn’t necessarily a good idea.
One 2010 study of more than 4,000 workers in the US found that individuals who reported insufficient sleep were less productive and didn’t perform as effectively as their well-rested counterparts. So set your smartphone down, turn off your computer and focus on sleeping between 7 and 9 hours each night. You and your business will be better off for it.
2. Make meetings count
While we’re on the subject of productivity, there is one common practice that might be holding your business back: the superfluous meeting. According to the 2019 State of Meetings report, compiled by online scheduling service Doodle, the cost of poorly-organised meetings has reached $399 billion in the US and £58 billion in the UK.
But before you start frantically sending around all staff emails instead of calendar invites, know that it is truly possible to make meetings worthwhile. The key is to ensure you have a clear agenda, set objectives and only invite relevant staff and stakeholders to the gathering. After all, it’s a lot easier to get people onto the same page if they’re sitting in the same room.
3. Understand your spending
When it comes to tracking your business outgoings, it’s important that your spending data is readily accessible and easy to understand. Gone are the days of sifting through a pile of receipts and expenses claim forms when your staff return from a client visit.
With Revolut Business, you can issue physical and virtual multi-currency corporate cards and view expenses in real time with our mobile app. You’re also able to integrate our business account with the accounting tools you may already use, including Xero and FreeAgent.
4. Offer incentives to employees
Small businesses and start-ups often can’t remunerate workers in the same way that corporations do. However, they can offer many other kinds of perks and incentives so that staff members know just how valued they are. These benefits could include large initiatives like a flexible working scheme (so that employees can fit work into their lives – not the other way around), or business travel opportunities.
On a smaller level, you could also plan regular company outings and negotiate discounts with popular local businesses. A welcoming workplace is truly priceless – and with a little effort, it's possible for SMEs to build a rewarding working environment and loyal staff.
5. Start socialising (online)
A carefully-managed social media presence will set your brand apart from its competitors. Now – more than 15 years after Facebook was founded – it’s as important as ever to have an active account on one or more major social platforms. Retailers could benefit from an aesthetically-pleasing Instagram page, for example, while tech companies might find they can provide effective customer service to a captive audience on Twitter.
Your social strategy should depend very much on your business, and the customers you’re trying to reach. But the bottom line is: social media gives you a chance to show you have both a unique product and personality. Let them both shine by getting online more regularly.
Worried that routine tasks could get in the way of your grand plans for 2020? Revolut Business can help you make time for gazing at the bigger picture. See how you can get started with us today.Open a business account today