Next 12 Months Focus for SMEs
At the beginning of each calendar year, the Western Australia’s Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) surveys a sample of small business operators to determine how they expect their business to be impacted over the coming 12 month period (Link to SBDC survey results http://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/business-in-wa/what-is-a-small-business/business-expectations-survey-2015/ ). This got me thinking about, now that we are 3 months into the calendar year and with 3 months left to the start of the 2015-2016 financial year (to plan and develop strategies), what do business owners think the next 12-18 months will look like? – what are the impacts on Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and what should SMEs be focusing on to survive and proper?
Here’s what the brain trust (that is the Albany Creek Business Contacts) discussed.
- Cashflow Management: there was general agreement that cashflow management would still be a high focus for SMEs ensuring that a long term management of expected cash in and cash out is managed.
- Price of Service/Product –v- price of materials/supply: with fluctuating fuel prices, increased electricity prices etc discussion highlighted the need for SMEs to monitor the price of materials and other services/products purchased to ensure margins are maintained in the supply of the SME’s product or service. Comments focussed on ensuring sound buying behaviours to ensure viability of the business.
- Service: generally, consumers will not haggle over price if they believe they are getting value for money and good service. Maintaining good client/customer service and relationships will continue to be a vital point of difference for SMEs. We all know what it is like dealing with large Telcos/large organisations – being smaller and more personable can be a significant advantage.
- Technology: technology will continue to be a focus for most businesses. With the continuous rapid change in technology, SMEs need to be constantly monitoring what is available, and what will cost effectively add value to the business.
- Change: the old adage that “the only things certain in life are taxes and death” has a new room-mate – change. All industries are under constant change and the challenge for SMEs is to keep on top of it and determine what to respond to, what not to respond to and, if appropriate, how to be the change initiator and/or leader.
- Diversity: SMEs need to continuously monitor their client/customer needs and diversify (if need be) to remain relevant. By way of example, with many businesses moving towards “paperless” stationery suppliers have diversified to offer broader “office supplies” such as cleaning products and safety equipment in addition to traditional stationery supplies.
- Overseas Outsourcing: SMEs need to be monitoring the growing opportunities to source services and products overseas. Again, SMEs need to understand and be able to communicate their point of difference to compete.
- Be a Hunter: the market is the market of the day. SMEs need to invest time, resources and strategies in continuously sourcing new clients/customers. Complacency will not win the race.
(Blog contributors – Leonard Whittaker (Action Cycle Learning) Rob Carmody (Australian Integrated Communications) Sally Balwin (Balanix Solutions) Kathy Patterson (Brendale Stationery Supplies) Matthew Fox (Brisbane hosting & Web Design) Kirsty Newbery (Caring Cottage) Brad Davies (Conquest Pest & Termite Control) Scott Deaves (David Deane Real Estate) De Wet van der Nest (Express Air Con Cleaning) Oriano Giammichele (GT Racing, Mobile Mechanic) Stuart Bywater (Bywater Design) Rhennen Ford (Streten Mason Lawyers) Tracey Carter (Scrub Mutts) Jason Matthey (Insurance Web) Bruce Hall (Wombat Electrical)
Albany Creek Business Contacts consists of local quality and reliable businesses who provide a wide range of services from home and residential services to B2B and commercial services. Our service areas cover primarily Albany Creek, Eatons Hill, Brendale, Aspley, Warner, Chermside, Strathpine, North Lakes. However many members will cover greater areas.
Albany Creek Business Contacts meet fortnightly on a Wednesday morning for a 7am breakfast and networking meeting.
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Situated in Strathpine on Brisbane North, we partner with our clients to assist them in their accounting, business management and bookkeeping needs. Our clients vary in industries from professional services (such as law, vet and dentist) to the trades (mechanic, bricklaying, plasterer etc), hospitality and retail. Are clients are located in the Pine Rivers area (including Brendale, Lawnton, Albany Creek and Eatons Hill) through to Kallangur, Petrie, North Lakes and Caboolture, as well as Brisbane South, the Gold Coast and various other parts of Queensland.
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