Confidence levels in the small business community are on a downward trend. 1,230 small businesses were surveyed in July and the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Small Business Index tells us, ‘record numbers of SMEs to downsize, close or sell as confidence plummets’.
Brexit has resulted in, some would say, an inevitable dip in small business confidence but we can’t just blame Brexit. 35% of small businesses surveyed cited consumer demand as a barrier to growth and 70% are experiencing a rise in operating costs compared to last year. It’s hard to know how much of that can be attributed to Brexit. Two sectors reporting the least confidence are retail and entertainment.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Exporters will benefit from a drop in the pound and are, on the whole, feeling optimistic. We need to implement the right kind of Brexit deal which will provide opportunities for small businesses to access key overseas markets.
Small Business Confidence
So how do you buck the trend of dwindling small business confidence? How do you make sure you can adapt to anything thrown your way?
We believe that you make your own luck in business. If you lay the right foundations you can weather any storm. There are numerous ways we help our clients to do this. Here are some examples:
Planning should be a continual, and hugely important, part of your business. When you stop planning you run the risk of stagnating. Planning can give you a clear vision of where you want to be and when. It can also help to get you there. Setting yourself deadlines can be very motivating. And achieving your goals can be very satisfying. Having a five year plan can inform the things that you do in your business today and, crucially, have an impact on your future results.
Efficiency is key when it comes to confidence for small businesses. When you increase your efficiency you know that you’re getting the most out of the things you’re putting in such as time, money etc. Gone is that panicked feeling of treading water and being out of your depth.
3. Competitor Analysis Research
Competitor Analysis Research is a valuable tool in times of uncertainty. It shows you where your business stands compared to others and can give you knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have this knowledge it’s up to you how you use it.
Increase your confidence by delegating! The majority of businesses need help from others in some form or other. Having trusted people/businesses that you can rely on and share workload with can free you up to focus on the things that need your attention.
5. Impartial View
Having an impartial person look at your business can provide a valuable insight into the position you’re in. We offer free growth health checks that measure key variables in your business. This can then be used to grow and improve. There are a plethora of free services, talks, workshops etc. available. Keeping up to date with what’s available means you can pick and choose what’s useful for you and expand your knowledge. We have a list of upcoming events here: https://wegrowbusinesses.co.uk/local-business-events/
Spend the time and make the effort to solidify good foundations in your small business and the rest will slot into place. We can help with this. Contact us for a no-obligation chat https://wegrowbusinesses.co.uk/services/free-growth-health-check/