Planning for success: tips for small businesses to get ahead in 2018

For small businesses, the start of the year isn’t just about squeezing in some deserved rest and relaxation, but also embracing the downtime as your best opportunity for planning to get ahead of the game.

Technology and digital disruption is shaking up the business environment at an incredible speed. So, whether you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur, or an established business owner, now is a great time to get your strategy in check to help ensure you’re on track to create new opportunities for your business in 2018.

Here are some strategies that you may like to consider to help get your venture positioned for growth this year.

Embrace the millennial workforce

It’s time to start preparing your workplace for the millennial generation, with millennials forecast to make up 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025.

Millennials have different expectations from their employers compared to their older counterparts. Not only do they place more emphasis on work-life balance, they also expect to work in collaborative environments for socially responsible employers where opportunities for learning and development are plentiful. It’s about the whole experience as much as the paycheck.

Businesses that appeal to the needs of millennials are likely to successfully recruit and retain the best and most relevant talent as we move into the future.

Encourage flexible working environments

Balancing the rigidity of a nine-to-five job with personal commitments can be a serious source of stress for some. Flexible workers are said to be far more productive and happier* than those who are not.

Advances in technology have made it possible for employees to work effectively outside the confines of a traditional nine-to-five office routine. Today, people can work from almost anywhere, at any time, with an internet connection using cloud technology and BYO devices. They can easily communicate in real-time with a host of collaborative platforms and web-based voice and video calling methods.

Businesses that help employees work efficiently around their personal schedules may see a positive impact on morale and productivity while tapping into an increasing talent pool of workers who seek that all-important work-life balance**.

Master your web presence

Digital presence is often essential to giving an outstanding first impression and generating repeat business, and many potential clients and customers are likely to discover and interact with your business online. If you don’t have a digital presence for your venture yet, now is a good time to get started. If you already have a website, now might be the right time to see if it needs a refresh for 2018.

A website is your opportunity to help your brand stand out in the crowd by delivering an exceptional user experience alongside eye-catching and shareable content. And with more web browsing taking place on mobile than desktop*** – don’t forget to have your website optimised for mobile from the beginning.

eCommerce is on the rise

Online shopping in Australia is booming**** and there are a few driving forces on both sides of the fence; business and consumer.

For established bricks-and-mortar stores, online store fronts offer an avenue to tap into new markets and expand product offerings. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs have been empowered by the ease and affordability of creating new online retail experiences through tools such as our Website Builder and Online Store.

With lower business overheads leading to lower prices, and cheaper and faster deliveries becoming the norm, online shopping is a no-brainer for today’s convenience-driven shoppers.

Make the most of this quieter period by planning small, practical changes to your business to ensure that you’re on the right track to helping your venture reach its next level.

Tara Commerford, Vice President and Managing Director Australia & New Zealand, GoDaddy

*www.jobs.theguardian.com/article/why-now-s-the-time-to-embrace-flexible-working/
**www.2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/gx-millenial-survey-2016-exec-summary.pdf
***www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/mobile-web-browsing-desktop-smartphones-tablets
****www.pwc.com.au/industry/retail-consumer/assets/digital-media-research-jul12.pdf

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