Making headway in 2018

Now that we’re all back at work, fresh from the holidays (you did take one, didn’t you!!), it’s time to get serious about those business projects you mulled over during the break.

You might have thought about introducing a new product or service, opening up your business to exporting or maybe even recruiting a couple of new team members. However, if you are really serious about making headway in your business in 2018, it’s best to understand the lay of the land before you race in and invest your precious time and money willy nilly.

  • Introducing a new product/service
    Sure, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago or today – but let’s face it, some years turn out to be better than others. So you’ll be pleased to know that the outlook for business in general, and small business in particular, is pretty positive. In fact, Deloitte Access Economics is predicting continued jobs growth, which means more money floating around in the Australian economy, weaker inflation (which means people can buy more things with their dollar) and the likelihood of interest rates remaining unchanged.
  • Exporting your business to the world
    If exporting is on your list for 2018, it’s a good year for that, too. Small business confidence in the US is up more than 21 per cent now sitting at 52 per cent and China and the UK have also been identified as markets where strong revenue growth is likely to take place this year. The French economy is still in expansion mode, which is keeping both its households and businesses confident. However, if you’re thinking Canada, its economic growth is likely to decelerate this year – forewarned is forearmed.
  • Recruiting new team members
    Recently, we wrote about the trend turnarounds to be across for 2018. One of those was “coworking”. Turns out that people (ie: your staff or contractors) like having a space/desk to call their own and a quiet space to actually get work done. In fact, they’d prefer that to the myriad of creature comforts like Fussball tables, in-house massages, nap-pods and all day snack bars – aka trendy start-up benefits. As a small-business owner, you’re not likely to win the “benefits” or even wages war against bigger businesses. You can however win great talent by giving them a desk of their own, some flexibility to work from home when required, greater input into the business you’re all building and being willing to invest in them as a much as you expect them to invest in you.

But before you go investing in a new staffer, think about where that resource will serve your business best. If it’s just a general admin you’re thinking of, you might consider an outsourced VA. Or if it’s having your staff waste their time answering the phones that’s a productivity drain, a virtual receptionist might allow your staff resources to focus and produce better results. Best to save your precious financial resources for revenue-producing people – which, over time, will allow you to build a business that requires less and less of you.

And once you’re in a position where your business doesn’t require you in a hands-on way day-to-day, then you’ll be better able to take it in whatever direction moves you. Here’s to a fruitful 2018!

Roland Farrugia, Virtual Services Advisor, Serviced Offices International

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