To remain competitive and ensure you stay on the upward track, it is important to make consistent improvements to your business. To help give small businesses a boost, FedEx has launched the FedEx Small Business Grant UK competition, offering the chance to win up to £20,000. In addition, we’ve compiled some additional pointers and tips to help you focus on areas of your business that could offer the biggest gain.
FedEx top tip: Revisit your business plan
Update your business plan thoroughly at least once a year as your business evolves. Bringing it up to date will allow you to step back from day-to-day activities and re-align your strategy, ensuring the big picture still makes sense. Make sure you have a monthly review of the difference between planned results and actual results for your sales, profits, balance and cash. A periodic refresh of the plan will allow you to review important factors such as actual business results, changing business environment and new competitors.
However apparently simple, it’s vital to recognise the full potential of your business plan. It’s a critical tool with insights into all aspects of your business – from day-to-day operations to long-term strategies and forward planning. Regularly revisiting and updating your business plan puts you in the best possible position to review and respond as efficiently as possible.
FedEx top tip: Build a strong team
It’s no secret that high-performing companies have high-performing teams. Having the right infrastructure for growth is important and this starts with having talented and engaged team members throughout your organisation. To achieve your vision quicker, build a strong team that is as passionate about your goals as you are. Don’t forget that taking even a few moments every so often to appreciate and thank your team will go a long way – as well as improving retention rates and earning the continued support of your staff.
Your team are at the heart of your business – ensuring they are always engaged and motivated is essential for keeping things running smoothly. Sharing your business ambitions, communicating regularly, recognising potential and being receptive to feedback will all result in improved performances all round.
FedEx top tip: Don’t be afraid to pitch to investors
Fundraising can be hard work and the opportunity to raise investment can come in many ways and from many places. Connecting people with possibilities: consider pitching to investors or securing alternative funding through other channels. Preparing an ‘elevator pitch’ will allow you think about your strategic direction, while additional investment will allow you to improve different aspects from your business, from production to marketing, in turn enhancing revenues.
Being able to communicate your business idea and plans simply and effectively at all times is invaluable – especially as you never know when it might be needed. Confidence is equally important as is showcasing your knowledge. Potential investors need to quickly grasp your story, successes and plans for the future in a short space of time. In addition to pitching to potential investors, meeting new people, networking and making new contacts will also stand you in good stead for the future.
FedEx top tip: Have international ambition
With the rise of ecommerce, there are a number of exciting possibilities for international trade and overseas business success. If you’re planning to export internationally, consider which markets would be the most beneficial to your business and prepare a clear exporting strategy. Government bodies and organisations such as the Department for International Trade and the Institute of Export are there to support you on your exporting journey.
Having international ambitions can take your business to the next level and allow you to reach dynamic new markets around the world. International trade presents a world of business opportunities – understanding exporting procedures and even local customs could simplify your business journey and the necessary steps along the way. Having a regional outlook with international ambition is an optimum balance for succeeding overseas.
FedEx top tip: Build up your business image
Your online presence is crucial to creating a good first impression. Ensure your website and social media channels reflect your brand values and the image you’d like to project. To raise your profile even further, consider editorial and awards opportunities in your industry. By encouraging new ideas on how to build brand image it can help drive a connection between you and your customers, creating even more possibilities for you to communicate around the world.
Your business image represents what you do and how you do it; it’s how your customers, potential customers and suppliers will perceive you. Be consistent, ensure you always show your logo in the same colours or font, improve customer experience by ensuring your website is engaging and simple to navigate, and be visible online by optimising key words on your website to come high on search engine results.
Aligning your branding, key messaging and external communications as well as exploring a range of media opportunities to ensure you reach your target audience.
In today’s global economy, there are countless possibilities to improve areas of your business, ranging from raising your profile to exploring intercontinental markets.
To help give your business a boost and win up to £20,000, enter the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. For more information, click here.
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