Make a New Year’s resolution for your business

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As business owners and managers, we all have plans for where we want to take our company. Whether that is new premises, new markets, new products or simply doing more of the same, we all know the importance of planning…and what better time than the start of a new year?

From the inside out and the outside in

When developing your strategy, the best place to start is always within. It’s important to understand where you are now and what you can change internally to move to your ultimate goal. It’s also quite normal to have a 1 year plan that works in conjunction with a 3, 5 or even a 10 year plan.

When looking at opportunities for organic growth, focus is placed on identifying ways that the business can change what it does to deliver key strategic goals. It is likely that this will involve reviewing things like:

  • Pricing
  • Costs (materials, labour, suppliers etc…)
  • Processes
  • Efficiency
  • Working practices
  • Structure

Once you know what you need to change within the business, there is also need to look at the external factors that could help or hinder you in reaching your goals. Relevant issues include:

  • The market/industry in which you operate
  • The economy
  • Competitors
  • Opportunities for diversification

Finance – a common need

Different businesses will have different goals, different resources and different capabilities, so are likely to build different strategies. However, it is clear that, as a business, you should ask yourself a common question – Once you have built your strategy, how do you implement it and how do you finance it?

Let’s face it, big or small, change often calls for investment. Whether you are looking at improving processes, opening a new branch, changing the layout of your factory, increasing the size of your delivery fleet or buying a new piece of machinery there will be a cost attached. How do you plan to meet the cost of change?

Planning ahead

Of course there are many options open to you for raising capital including:

  • Government Start-Up loans – A loan facility specifically for businesses that have been trading for under a year
  • Enterprise Finance Guarantee – The Government acts as a guarantor to help SMEs who perhaps lack the necessary security required by the banks
  • Crowdfunding – Using technology to share your idea and secure investors via an auction style approach
  • Asset finance – Utilise your existing equipment/machinery to help raise finance
  • Invoice finance (factoring or invoice discounting) enables you to access the day – to day working capital you need to run your business by effectively turning your invoices into cash that you can use straight away

Do you have any experience of using any of these facilities? Were they right for your business?

You’ll want to know that you have chosen the one which is most suitable for your business and your growth plans. Jelf Commercial Finance offers an independent service for sourcing finance, with in-depth knowledge of the finance market, and access to all the major institutions, our support can help you deliver your strategy and achieve your goals. Why not get in touch via colin.hall-tomkin@jelfgroup.com to see how your business could benefit.

 

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About the author

Passionate about all things marketing. Louise is a chartered marketer who believes in a customer-focused approach to business.