What can you do in 2018 to help build your business?

What can you do in 2018 to help build your business?
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Published: January 10th, 2018

It’s a New Year, full of new hope and promise! But what does 2018 have in store for your business?

Crystal ball aside, many business owners find that the Christmas and New Year period has given them breathing space to think about what comes next for their enterprise.

Business plans put in place a year (or five) ago, need to be moved on as the economic and political landscape shifts and as clients and customers come and go.

Below we’ve listed five things you could be thinking about in 2018 to help scale up your business…

1. Improve productivity

The ‘productivity puzzle’ became the buzz phrase of 2017, and it seems we’re not quite sure how to solve it yet. The Government’s new Industrial Strategy highlights improving productivity as key to building the UK economy. But what does that mean for the small and medium sized businesses with growth potential in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin? It can be looking at your processes and seeing if they could be refined, or looking at whether staff have the right skills, or is there a training need within the workforce. Effective leadership is linked to improving productivity too – so it’s worth reviewing as well.

2. Strengthen supply chains

This subject is worth a blog all on its own! But improving your supply chain can be much more than just getting your product to your customer. Review your customer relationship management (CRM) sytems and see whether there are opportunities for collaborative relationships. And have a look at your metrics and your processes for dealing with suppliers. Are they delivering for you and the ambitions for your business growth.

3. Explore new markets

There’s no doubt that with Brexit on the horizon, companies trading within Europe may be considering markets further afield, if they’re not trading with them already. The start of the New Year can be a chance for companies to consider whether business growth could come from trading internationally for the first time. Contact your local international trade teams for advice.

4. Assess training needs

Are you and your staff keeping up to date with advances in your sector? Are you up to date with progress in technology which could help grow your business? Or are you one of thousands of businesses with an ageing workforce which needs to recruit new talent? The Marches Growth Hub has a skills portal which can help you find out more about training courses and apprenticeships here

5. Make the most of the business support available

Growth Hubs were introduced by the Government to help simplify the way businesses access support, whether that’s looking for a mentor to guide them to the next stage or for capital finance for new equipment.

In Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, the Marches Growth Hub is the one stop shop for business support in the region. Our support finder is a directory of 165 different programmes, schemes and organisations to help you scale up your business. We also have a helpline on 0345 6000 727 and hubs in Telford, Shrewsbury and Hereford, with business support staff on hand to help.

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