With a no-deal Brexit and a global recession both looming large on the UK horizon, the prospects for small businesses are becoming bleaker by the day.
This should be hugely concerning for the UK economy, with SMEs accounting for 99.3% of all private sector firms and 60% of total employment in this space.
With this in mind, it’s important that SMEs are able to survive and thrive in the current climate. But what steps can they take to achieve this objective?
1. Minimize Costs by Selling Online
Ecommerce is an increasingly prosperous market in the UK, with the percentage of sales completed online growing exponentially with every passing year.
This offers a huge opportunity to small businesses, which can leverage e-commerce to reduce their operational costs and access a larger target market both at home and abroad.
A number of large brands and corporations have already reduced their cost bases by transitioning gradually online, and this has established a template that you can learn from and follow as a small-business owner.
2. Be Mobile Friendly
E-commerce represents another significant growth trend in the UK, with the sales generated through these mediums totaling an impressive €41 billion in 2018.
To put this into context, purchases made through a smartphone or tablet accounted for 43% of all ecommerce sales last year, and this number is expected to increase to 45% by the end of 2019.
With this in mind, you’ll need to ensure that your business and website is optimized for mobile, so that your customers can find your products easily and complete a purchase whilst they’re on the move.
This should translate into a higher level of turnover year-on-year, whilst also ensuring that you meet the ever-changing demands of consumers.
3. Reinvent Your Business
As we live in uncertain economic times, certain developments can undermine your business’s performance and suddenly squeeze your profit margins.
This can cause even the best-run small business to fold, which is why you need to create an adaptable model that enables you to react to different economic events and circumstances.
In some instances, you must also be prepared to reinvent your business, whether this relates to the products or services that you sell to your pricing and marketing strategies. On a similar note, you shouldn’t be afraid to take out a small business loan to fund this transition, particularly if it translates into increased profits over time.
This represents a calculated risk in the current climate, but it’s often preferable to allowing your business to stagnate and become unfit for the purpose from the perspective of customers.