How can SMEs stay ahead of the competition in times of Economic uncertainty?
Operating a small and medium-sized enterprise is a challenge even in the best of environments. UK SMEs today are operating in one of the most uncertain periods of recent history.
Unsurprisingly, a recent study by American Express and Oxford Economics found that 64% of UK SMEs feel concerned about policy, law and regulatory change.
So, what actions can SMEs take to stay afloat and ahead of the competition in this uncertain time of economic stress?
Strategic investment and smart management will help navigate the current complexities of the business operating environment.
Key areas of consideration should include:
- New Technology – The power to unlock new business opportunities.
A challenge faced by many SMEs is the ability to keep up with rapidly changing technology. Less than half of UK SMEs feel they are effective at integrating the latest technologies compared to their competitors.
The focus is shifting to technology that offers value to workforce productivity with tools that provide faster, more reliable, communication, being ranked as top priority.
With careful thought and planning SMEs that utilise the latest tech will have a significant advantage when it comes to future-proofing their business.
- Streamlining Supplier Payments – Greater control of cash flow
Research shows that nearly a third of UK SMEs find it hard to access the finance they need with many relying on old-fashioned payments system and single funding sources. This can result in SMEs not being able to maintain an accurate cash flow forecast due to delayed payments and not knowing when incomes are due to arrive.
Moving away from paper-based payment processes and having access to a healthy cashflow, not only streamlines efficiency but enables visibility for future trends, securing expenditure and allowing flexibility for new growth opportunities.
- Branching into foreign waters
The benefits of exporting can be transformative for SMEs, with the right preparation. Research is vital, learn which products will export and where the demand is. Planning is the next step ensuring new customers, policies, regulations and cultural hurdles are considered. Resources such as The Department for International Trade can valuable in this stage, prior to deciding on a route to market.
Utilising software such as SunSystems Financial Management and KiSSFLOW for SunSystems can assist in addressing all three of these key areas;
– A flexible, expandable accounting package
– Time-saving- workflows to reduce manual processes
– Clear audit trails with paperless transactions
– Multiple multi-currency reporting functionality
By considering these elements, SMEs can ensure they are not only ready to face economic or political change but also have a solid foundation in which to build their future success.
Get in touch with FinanSys today to see how these systems can benefit your business.