Member Article

Small Business Saturday: 6 top tips on how to make your small business a success

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy. But despite their collective might, each and every one of them started out as nothing but a simple idea, brought to life through the hard graft, determination and ingenuity of its founder. Every year, hundreds of thousands of new businesses are launched in the UK this way. And while each one of them is unique, they all face similar challenges at the start, from sourcing the right funding to get a business off the ground, to sorting out financials, protecting sensitive information against hackers or providing employees with the tools they need to look after their own wellbeing.

To mark Small Business Saturday 2020, some of the biggest names in their respective industries are sharing their top tips on what to keep in mind if you want to stand the best chance of making your businesses a success.

Tip 1: Don’t wait - start your business now “The best piece of advice I would give to an entrepreneur with an idea is to start now. It’s too easy to sit and wait for the perfect time to start a business. There is never a perfect time! 2020 has been the year no one expected, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that some of the greatest tech companies from the last few years - like Uber and Airbnb - were founded in a recession.

You’ll face battles along the way, though. I know that from experience. Funding is one of those hurdles, but it doesn’t have to be. Starting a business opens your eyes to the bias that exists in business investment. When I started at 21, I wasn’t sure why I was getting rejected. Was it because I’m a woman? Too young? Or that I didn’t know what I was talking about? Thankfully, options like alternative capital mean new entrepreneurs don’t need to ask themselves these questions. So, don’t let this deter you from starting your business journey.“ - Michele Romanow, Co-founder and President, Clearbanc -

**Tip 2: Consider outsourcing tasks or projects ** “Small business owners are amongst the hardest-working people on the planet. When a business is your passion, it’s very hard to let go and turn off. Sadly, this often means SME owners find themselves worked into the ground as a result of taking on too many tasks they don’t really know how to do well.

“When starting a business, owners should recognise from the outset that they can’t do it all on their own. There is no shame in getting help for those tasks that are outside your core competency and take up so much time and energy. Outsourcing can be a great way of easing your load and ensuring a top quality job.

“From marketing and branding, to e-commerce, sales, and customer support, there are loads of different areas where high-quality freelancers can deliver real value. Digital platforms offer a sure-fire option for business owners to select the best person for their requirements and find those online experts to deliver great results.” - Liron Smadja, Senior Director of Global Brand Marketing & International Expansion at Fiverr -

**Tip 3: Set up a flexible finance structure that can scale ** “When starting a business, setting up a solid and flexible financial structure from the outset is crucial as it lays the foundations for the business to grow. Don’t assume that traditional banks will automatically be best suited to support your business needs. It is important to take the time and thoroughly research what options you have and what financial solution is ultimately right for you, both now and as you hopefully scale in the future. That last part is particularly important, especially if you might want to start operating internationally and trade in foreign currencies. You will want to go for a financial solution that allows you to do all of that, even if you don’t necessarily need all of these functionalities right now just yet.” - Jed Rose, GM EMEA, Airwallex -

**Tip 4: Protect your most sensitive information from cyberthreats ** “When starting a new business, it’s critical to make sure that cybersecurity is an integral part of the organisation’s processes, internal controls and IT budget. The mindset of building cybersecurity best practices into the organisation’s products and services is essential because it establishes a framework across all of its departments and teams.” - Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security -

Tip 5: Consider how you can support your employee’s financial health “One of the largest negative impacts of the pandemic has been on workers’ personal finances. Two-thirds (66%) of UK workers have been affected by personal finance-related stress in 2020. So think carefully about whether the monthly pay cycle is right for you, and your staff. During this challenging time, workers should be given the option to gain access to a portion of their earned pay in real-time, on the day that they earn it. There is technology that sits within the UK fintech scene that can enable this. Those who are actively empowering staff with earnings on demand report lower presenteeism, higher retention and increased productivity.” - James Herbert, CEO of Hastee -

Tip 6: Don’t lose touch with your community “Small businesses often go wrong when they grow too fast and lose touch with their core audience. What fuels an organisation of this size is its connection to its core audience - the people that make it matter, that support it from its conception, that see it transition from a simple idea into tangible reality.

The more a business grows, the easier it is to lose sight of that initial community, and allow the focus to shift elsewhere with the adrenaline of scaling up. Granted, businesses change and audiences come and go, and the ability to adapt to these fluctuations is a valuable one. But that original link between audience and business must remain a priority, especially in the volatile landscape of this past year. This is what allows a business to preserve its authenticity and unique offering, and remain true to itself at every stage of its journey.“ **- Benji Vaughan, CEO of Disciple - **

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Collaboration .

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