Top ten tips for SME managers for 2016

As a business owner, it can be tempting to take a leading hands-on role in all aspects of the operation. However, this is not an efficient way to run things.


There has perhaps never been greater opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed. With so much business taking place online, set-up costs can be next to nothing and your office can be as mobile as you like.

Nonetheless, there are still plenty of traps to be wary of. Here is a list, in no particular order, of the top ten tips for business success in 2016.

As a business owner, it can be tempting to take a leading hands-on role in all aspects of the operation. However, this is not an efficient way to run things.

You need to trust your colleagues and employees to do the job you have entrusted them to do.

It will free you to dedicate time to building and growing the company, rather than getting bogged down in its everyday operation.

Although you don’t want to micromanage, it is still important to have a good grasp of how various projects and tasks are progressing. This can be tricky with staff, projects and initiatives developing rapidly at any one time.

Thankfully, there are some excellent online platforms to help effective project management which will enable you to keep an accurate overview of everything. Platforms such as Liquid Planner and Asana can be invaluable.

Another important organizational tool tailor-made for SMEs is cloud sharing. These platforms enable you to store documents safely and securely in a ‘cloud’ which can be accessed from any device so long as you have internet access.

It is also an effective way of sharing material with your team. Options such as ADrive andElephant Drive allow multiple users to edit a document simultaneously, saving countless e-mails and document drafts.

This is sometimes easier said than done. However, it is important to go the extra mile for the people you truly value by giving them incentives and letting them know that you appreciate their efforts. Even the small gestures can mean a lot. Besides, recruitment can be expensive and disruptive.

There really is strength in numbers! Perhaps you need office space, but can’t afford it yourself. Why not find another company in a similar position and team up? It is also worth sharing suppliers where possible.

After all, the more you buy, the better chance of getting a discount. Working in partnership with others often means that everyone is a winner.

Your company’s website is your business card. It is the first point of reference for anyone who wants to find out more about your business. Fortunately, you don’t need an expensive web designer to do the job effectively. There are plenty of top class website building platforms that you or a team member can use to create the perfect result, such as Wix, Jimdo and Moonfruit.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be ideal for not only sharing information but genuinely engaging with customers, clients and users.

The good news is that it is also cost-effective. Admittedly you will need to invest time in order to use social media effectively. However, social media integrates effectively with most website builder platforms (check out to create real visibility for your business.

It’s all very well communicating effectively with your target audience. However, you will need to go a step further and actually listen to what they’re saying in order to make improvements to your business.

Using the analytics tools on your website, you can see what content is working and which promotions, images, etc are not. Similarly, the popularity of social media content can usually be monitored by the number of likes, shares and re-tweets.

Websites and social media are a must, but you still shouldn’t neglect old-fashioned networking. You are your company’s best advocate and so make sure that you meet as many useful contacts as possible, who can help grow your business through referrals, etc.

There are bound to be local business groups and networks dedicated to your industry, so make sure you get involved.

Plenty of small businesses are based from home and many business owners prefer to use the flexibility of being able to work from home. However, there is a danger that the crucial divide between work and home becomes blurred and consequently work becomes all-consuming.

It is therefore critical that you create a dedicated physical work space at home to help maintain clear boundaries.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: