Businesses are operating in one of the most uncertain periods in recent history. We were therefore not surprised to read the 2019 study by American Express and Oxford Economics, which said that two thirds of UK SMEs said they feel concerned about policy, law and regulatory change.
Running a small or medium sized business is a tough challenge at the best of times. So, what are the steps that UK SMEs can take to get ahead of their competition and safeguard their operation during stressful times.
Rather than simply battening down the hatches and trimming costs, strategic investment and smart management can be rewarded at a later point by not only business survival but also growth. Here we highlight two areas in which businesses should consider investing:
Stay ahead of new technologies
A key challenge to businesses is keeping up with rapid changing technology. A particular priority for new technology is value-adding technology, ie. Technology which supports and improves workforce productivity. There are lots of products on the market, and it can be difficult to navigate your way through these products. But a key starting point is understanding what you are looking to achieve, and then research the market.
Streamline payments to get ahead
One-way SMEs can successfully use technology to get ahead of their competition is by streamlining their supplier payments, allowing them greater control of their cashflow and so their credit control. We know that cashflow is important to all of our clients, but we also know that clients can have real problems getting their invoices paid.
We use Go Cardless, which is similar to a direct debit system. Once your customer has signed up and provided their bank details, you are able to raise an invoice, and then after a defined time period Go Cardless will automatically collect the payment direct from the customer’s bank account. We have found this system has worked really well for us, particularly as it links into our favoured bookkeeping system, QuickBooks.
If you would like further information on Go Cardless; or other ideas on how your business could invest in its future, please contact Jackie or Andrew on 01625 524127.