START 2021 OFF RIGHT WITH THE MYOB SMALL BUSINESS BOOTCAMP
With the local economy performing better than expected, a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon and a busy summer season ahead, local business confidence has been steadily improving since the lows it reached in late March, when negative sentiment reached almost 100% according to the MYOB Business Monitor. But most SME operators recognise that there’s still […]
With the local economy performing better than expected, a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon and a busy summer season ahead, local business confidence has been steadily improving since the lows it reached in late March, when negative sentiment reached almost 100% according to the MYOB Business Monitor.
But most SME operators recognise that there’s still a long road to recovery ahead – and navigating both the challenges and opportunities of a post-COVID economy will require planning, efficient processes and expert help.
To help local SMEs prepare for the coming year, whether they are just starting out or looking to consolidate on growth, MYOB has put together the MYOB Small Business Bootcamp, a range of resources designed to help local operators be ‘business-fit’. The guide takes new and developing businesses through a range of key steps, from developing a business plan and defining a value proposition, to understanding cost structures and building a network of supporting partners.
Planning for success
With momentum for the recovery growing, businesses that are starting to think ahead to what 2021 might bring for them – even if it involves a significant change to their current operations – will be better prepared to make the most of new opportunities.
According to the MYOB Holiday Trading Snapshot, this year 60% of local businesses made changes to their operations to prepare for the holiday period, as a result of COVID-19. Of these, nearly a third (32%) have developed business plans to help them prepare for any changes in market conditions.
A business plan defines success for enterprises and sets out milestones to achieve it, helping businesses assess strengths and weaknesses, understand the competitive landscape and even identify opportunities to pivot.
According to the experts who contributed the MYOB Small Business Bootcamp programme, an effective business plan doesn’t require a major investment of time and energy, but is an important for providing structure.
“Many businesses believe a plan has to be extensive and broad,” says Brian Sher, co-founder of business coaching firm The Fortune Institute. “But a simple yet achievable, well-thought-out business plan is far more powerful.”
The difference offered
One of the key aspects of business management is understanding where the opportunities lie for the business in question – and being able to communicate – the value proposition.
“When I put them on the spot, most business owners can’t give me a compelling reason why people should choose them over their competitor,” says business growth advisor, Caren Hendrie.
“It sounds obvious, but most businesses have never taken the time to spell out those differences. They expect people to buy from them, simply because they’re in the marketplace, however they need to give customers a clear and compelling reason to buy from them.”
The MYOB Small Business Bootcamp helps business owners to clearly articulate their value proposition with a series of questions designed to identify what customer problem their business solves and how, as well as how this differs from its competitors. Downloadable worksheets help businesses capture their ideas and work with advisors and colleagues to refine their proposition.
In the lead up to the Christmas trading period, over a fifth (22%) of local SMEs have taken advice to help with their planning, with almost a third of those speaking to their accountant.
The MYOB Small Business Bootcamp highlights how businesses can make the most of a network of partners, to amplify their potential. Finding the right partners – which can range from accountants and financial advisors, to sub-contractors, and even other business owners in complementary sectors who can refer work – can help small businesses to grow by allowing them to focus on their own strengths.
“The best partners will match your business commercially, culturally and in its business lifecycle,” says business advisor Jacob Alridge.
“You’ll be more likely to work with similar customers, enjoy the relationship and grow at the same pace.”
In addition to altering their business processes and taking advice, MYOB’s Holiday Trading Snapshot shows that the majority of SMEs are also taking proactive steps to manage their cashflow this Christmas – 62% of those surveyed have plans in place to help manage cashflow in instances of slow invoice payments.
Controlling and understanding how much is going out is as important as knowing what’s coming in, according to MYOB. Heading into the New Year, MYOB Small Business Bootcamp provides timely advice, not only on managing cashflow, but also how to understand business costs.
Caren Hendrie says once you understand your expenses, you can make decisions on reducing them – but with a long-term view in mind.
“Business owners shouldn’t make knee-jerk reactions and stop spending altogether. That might ease things short-term but it could cause damage long-term. Businesses still need to move forward,” Caren advises.
With a range of advice for any local business, as well as targeted information for the trades, professional services, hospitality and retail sectors, the MYOB Small Business Bootcamp has the right resources to get any organisation fit and ready for whatever 2021 will bring. Free Bootcamp registrations can be made at: myob.com/nzbusinessbootcamp