To say that the past 18 months has been difficult for businesses, particularly SMEs, is an understatement. From the pandemic to Brexit issues, to the current climate change emergency, more and more issues are facing SME businesses rather than the regular running of a business such as cashflow forecasting, service improvements and day to day operations. The world is a very different place to what it was and with change a constant inevitability, we wanted to hear from SMEs about what the next 12 months holds and how they feel about it.
We will be running a comprehensive survey together with our partners, HR Solutions, examining what the future holds for SMEs whilst looking at some of the key themes of business and management which have come under the spotlight over the past year. This survey will help us gage where the SME market is at in terms of mindset and outlook, which in turn will help shape our services and client treatment according to the feedback received.
Here are some of the things that the survey will be touching upon….
Employment Law & Legislation – Many employers do not know the complete ins and outs of employment law and legislation, and as a result do not offer their employees the correct and legal requirements for working. Employment law concerns the relationship between employers and employees, whilst it also dictates what employers can expect from employees, what employers can ask employees to do, as well as employees’ rights at work. Gaining an in-depth knowledge on employment law and legislation is imperative in the present-day workplace, particularly as work environments change, adapt and feature many grey areas.
Financial Challenges – Cash troubles have been a common theme for many businesses during the past 18 months. Looking forward to the next year however, we want to know what most concerns you and your cashflow. There’s of course Brexit issues, rising taxes, as well as furlough ending, but the worries could also be related closer to home such as not having a sufficient cash buffer, struggling to bring in new business, or bad debtors on your books.
People Management – The goalposts in managing your team and workforce are always growing. Respecting and constantly communicating with staff members is so vital as it breeds a company culture which is inclusive, diverse, and open. By successfully managing your team, staff retention is kept at a high whilst talent attraction becomes a key feature of your business from an external viewpoint. We want to know what some of the things are that you will choose to focus on over the next 12 months when it comes to people management. Could it be staff’s mental health, developing a progressive and conscious attitude, or even communicating the overall vision of the company to staff on a regular basis?
Outsourcing – The acceleration of digitalisation and technology has been one of the main takeaways from the pandemic. This has led many business owners choosing to outsource specific roles in their business, leading to costs being cut as well as the flexibility to choose how much you want the outsourced role to work. Outsourcing roles within the business can have huge benefits, evidenced in our article here. We want to know what departments of your business you may have already outsourced or are looking to outsource over the next year, whether that be HR, Admin, Marketing or even a Financial Director.
Impact On Decision-Making – As a business owner, your decision-making is one of the most crucial features of your role within the business. Everyone is looking to you to lead and make those difficult decisions which will determine the outcome of your business’ future. We want to know what will have the biggest impact on your decision-making, for example could it be government legislation, available cash or financing, suppliers, resources, profitability, or even alignment with your long-term goals and vision?
Actions To Take – Decisions lead to decisive action, and as an SME business owner you will be accountable and responsible for the actions taken by your company. We want to gain insight into what actions are on your agenda in terms of priority, whether that be to increase/decrease home working, redundancies, cutting costs, growth plans, restructuring, using technology to improve products or services, or even expand overseas. Gaining a grasp of what actions are to be taken by SMEs over the next 12 months will provide a solid indication of where the market will be at and how we can aid you.
Please take approximately 5 minutes to complete the SME Business 2021 survey, in collaboration with HR Solutions, as it’s so important we know and can predict how best to tailor our services and products to you. The role of SME businesses and the workplace is invariably becoming more fluid and less stagnant as time progresses. The future of your business with you, and we want to know how we can join you in taking those next steps and beyond.
We hope this has outlined to you what the SME Business 2021 survey will be focussing on, and how it can help your business. If you’d like to take part in the survey, click here.
If you require any further information on anything outlined, or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.