Worldpay’s top tips for business success in 2018

It’s that time of the year again: a time of New Year’s resolutions and self-improvement. Your business should be no different. In fact, a little careful planning now could set you up for a successful 2018. With so much to think about, many small business owners might find it difficult to prioritise. That’s why we’ve come up with our top tips to help grow your company next year:

Plan for success

The cornerstone of your 2018 strategy should be an updated business plan. It should be clear, concise and relevant. Revisit your original plan and make changes where appropriate. You might have found the competitive landscape has shifted slightly, or perhaps your addressable market and product set has changed.

The same rules should apply as when you wrote the original. Be sure to include realistic goals and objectives which can be quantified and measured this time next year.

Focus on your staff

This is the perfect time to assess whether your staff have the right level of training. You might feel the need to refresh existing skills or teach them new ones. Be proactive and ask them if there’s anything they feel would help them do their jobs more effectively.

Even upskilling your current staff might not be enough to fill larger skills gaps. That’s where new hires can help out. It’s important to find candidates who fit the bill on paper and will make a positive contribution to the workplace culture you’re trying to build.

Retooling for the New Year

Technology is a key driver of business success for many smaller firms, so don’t make do with underpowered systems. Carefully consider what you have in place and research whether there are faster, smarter alternatives on the market which your business can afford. It could make all the difference in 2018.

That said, many smaller companies typically have limited resources to devote to the vital task of growing the business. To make them go further, consider joining some relevant local business groups or networks. Chatting to your peers in a relaxed environment could help generate new ideas and broaden your professional network.

Get proactive about promotion

The coming year will be filled with events and holidays you can use to promote your business. Consider planning them all now via an office calendar to create a more joined-up approach to marketing.

These efforts can be seen in the wider context of reappraising your online brand. Consider what worked and what didn’t over the past 12 months. It might be that you need to invest in a new website, social media presence, or mobile channels.

Understand the industry

When it comes to running a small business, knowledge is power. So, take some time out at the end of the year to do some wider reading about your industry, your competitors, and what’s hot at the moment. Your next big business idea could be just a few clicks away.

Aligned to this, don’t be afraid to make bold decisions. Running a business means trying lots of things out and then sticking with those that work. So, try to be ruthless in cutting products or strategies that haven’t yielded the returns you expected. This will make your business leaner and ready for success in 2018.

Make some time for you

Finally, don’t forget about yourself. Running a small business can put huge demands on your personal life, so remember to set some time aside once in a while to spend with friends and family. This isn’t about neglecting the business, but ensuring you’re mentally and physically strong enough to tackle any challenges that may appear in 2018.