SMEs are one of the leading solutions for reducing unemployment and poverty and boosting economic growth. Due to this, the determinants of the survival and success of SMEs have received increasing scrutiny in recent years.
According to the University of South Africa, South Africa has a higher start-up failure rate, of 70-80% of businesses fail in the first 5 years, than elsewhere.
According to theintelligentsme.com, there are around 300,000 small and medium enterprises in the UAE, contributing more than 60% of the region's GDP. In Dubai, meanwhile, SMEs represent 95% of all establishments and make up 42% of the workforce, adding some 40% to the value-add of the economy.
Indeed, SMEs are important to every economy. Here are 9 ways to improve the success of your Small Business.
1. Create Brand Personality – Just be yourself, customers want to see the personality behind the brand. Your identity, culture and personality are your currency. Africans can take advantage by unapologetically expressing their colorful and unique culture in their brands.
2. Develop a strategic business plan, Organizational structure, and Operational support systems. – Robert A Norman once explained,
A strategic business plan is the blueprint of your business that describes your concept, philosophy and mission.
An Organizational Structure is the policies and procedures that ensure your business is a well-oiled machine, such as job responsibilities and discipline.
Operational Support Systems can relieve management from day-to-day routine activities, like scheduling meetings or tracking cash flow. This allows you to focus on tasks that can grow your small business.
3. Avoid making common Mistakes. One of the best ways to increase your chances of succeeding is by learning from other’s mistakes. You can read books, articles, attend networking events watch interviews to learn from senior entrepreneurs of some of the mistakes they have made in their journey.
4. Become connected to the Community.
Customers love supporting local businesses and are increasingly aware that when they support a local small business, they receive benefits like improving the local economy.
5. Create an Environment where your employees strive. Your employees are important because it is their skills that keep the company running and Innovative. By putting employee happiness and well-being before anything, companies have been able to scale up their businesses and build committed teams.
6. Retain your customers. Customers are the lifeblood of your business. You need to continuously acquire and retain them; Royalty programs are good customer retention programs. You don’t have to be “Big” business to have a royalty program.
7. Get organized. By being organized you’re more likely to complete tasks and stay on-top of everything that needs to be done. A great place to start is by creating a daily to-do-list.
8. Protect your cash flow. According to findings from “In Search of Solid Ground: Understanding the Financial Vulnerabilities of Microbusiness Owners,” the real secret to small business success is “the owners’ discipline in managing their personal finances and business cash flow.
9. Obtain credit availability and management. Ideally you wouldn’t want to take out a line of credit. However, there will be times when you will need obtain a line of credit for your SME, like when you need to bridge a short-term gap between receivables and payables because of seasonality, inventory enlargement, or business growth. Sometimes there’s an emergency, such as equipment breaking, where you don’t have the cash-on-hand to replace it.
Whatever the situation, it’s imperative that you can obtain credit when you need it. Additionally, when you have a good credit you can receive more favorable payment terms, provide a payables float, and get set up with new vendors.
Do you have other tips to improve small business? let us know down in the comments.