Recent months have seen significant changes to the UK’s economic landscape. While the exact impact of Brexit remains to be seen, change is an inevitable part of business and it’s essential to be able to adapt to whatever may be around the corner.
All businesses are subject to change, whether this is due to internal factors such as launching a new product, or external factors, including the emergence of new technologies or competitors.
Forward planning is key to managing change. You will need to work to identify where changes need to be made, and allow sufficient time to test any plans. Now is the time to review your short, medium and long-term objectives in line with the ‘SWOT’ principles – identifying any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Review and update your business plan
- Plan for where you see your business in one, two and five years’ time
- Look at what your competitors are doing
- Set up key performance indicators (e.g. sales, staffing)
- Draw up a specific timetable for action
- Measure your performance against your targets
Responding to change
Change brings with it both challenges and opportunities. It may be that your business needs to reconsider its existing offering, whether this means modifying products or services or approaching entirely different markets. You may also wish to consider partnering with another business.
- Consider adapting or expanding your existing offering
- Research and test potential new markets
- Consider adopting new sales and marketing techniques, including online and social media channels
- Consider the impact on staffing levels and processes
- Focus on the most profitable areas of your business
- Seek customer feedback on your proposed changes
Creating a positive culture
People can be resistant to change. However, you can help to foster a positive attitude to change throughout your business, by explaining the need for any changes.
- Engage staff by inviting ideas
- Hold regular brainstorming sessions
- Nominate a key member of staff to coordinate the changes
- Consider the retraining needs of existing staff
- Establish a clear timetable for the changes
- Offer an open door policy
Change could potentially affect any area of your business but there are a number of steps you can take to help protect profitability.
You may look to introduce strategies for increasing turnover. Working to increase sales to existing customers can be one of the most effective ways to boost the bottom line.
- Look to reduce costs, such as utility bills and bank charges
- Negotiate with your suppliers
- Cross-sell and upsell to existing customers
- Consider whether you are making the most of your employees
- Ensure systems and processes are as efficient as possible
It may be that you will need to borrow additional funds, in which case you may wish to delay any planned investments. We can provide regular cashflow forecasts to help with your budgeting needs.
- Consider the optimum time for purchases
- Negotiate payment terms with customers
- Invoice as soon as possible
- Operate stringent credit control procedures, including credit checks
- Revisit your pricing structure
- Ensure effective stock control measures are in place
- Consider the funding options available
Careful planning will help you to effectively manage change. We can help with your business and financial planning needs.