Five things you should do in 2021 to improve your small business

1. Get tailored business advice

We all know that small business owners need to wear many hats, but no one can be an expert in everything. Leveraging the experience and expertise of a business advisor means that you can learn from their successes and mistakes and get good quality feedback on your own ideas and concerns.

It doesn’t have to be expensive either, programs like the Federal Government’s ASBAS Program can connect you with a local industry professional for free.

John Carnohan has been advising businesses for over seven years and believes that good business advice is essential for every business, regardless of where they are in their journey. “Whether you’re setting up a strong foundation or tackling a specific issue, working with a business advisor can give you confidence in both your business strategy and your ability to execute it,” Carnohan says.

2. Upskill yourself and your staff

With the pace and progression of the digital economy it has never been more important for businesses to keep their skills fresh. By upskilling you are future proofing your business, ensuring that you have the tools and the knowledge to not only succeed today, but also tomorrow. There are a range of courses and tools available, from university courses through to shorter workshops and online videos. Want to start small? Why not sign up for one of Bayside BEC’s free workshops and upskill in under two hours.

3. Optimise your online visibility

Did you know that 75 per cent of people do not go past the first page of search results on Google? Put simply, if your business is not appearing where people are searching online then you’re missing out on qualified sales and leads. Online visibility isn’t just your website either, it’s any space online, from social media to Google My Business, to directories where a customer might interact or expect to interact with your brand.

When it comes to social media Edwin Smith from The Social Sandwich recommends that you, “Find the one or two social platforms your audience is on and and focus on creating great content for that audience. Don’t try to be a master of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, SnapChat and MySpace, because inevitably you’ll become a master of none.”

4. Make cyber security a priority

Is cyber security a part of your current business strategy? If not, it should be. Currently small businesses account for around 43 per cent of all cybercrime in Australia, yet many small businesses don’t have any cyber risk policies at all in place.

Babette Bottin from Das Insure says that, “A good place to start is to ‘define you crown jewels’. Ask yourself what kind of data matters most to your business and how is it collected, handled, stored, protected and do you have a tested back-up. Lost data means lost trust.”

5. Become part of a business community

Connect with the people who have done what you want to do. By joining a community of like-minded individuals you’ll be creating a support network that you can share ideas and resources with. It doesn’t have to be an in person group either, there are plenty of great Meetup and Facebook groups that connect business owners digitally from across the globe. Joining a business community won’t just introduce you to new perspectives, it will also give you access to potential clients, collaborators and mentors.

Amber Brousek, Digital Delivery Specialist, Bayside BEC

You can register for a FREE Government funded one-on-one session with John, Edwin or Babette here.