MYOB’s seven steps to boost your business in the New Year

15 Jan 2013

Survey reveals top priorities for SMEs in 2013

A focus on attracting new customers and improving systems and processes are the most popular strategies for local businesses planning for success in 2013, a new study reveals.

A special year-end survey by MYOB asked New Zealand business owners about their plans to grow their business in 2013. The results show that business owners see real value in tactics such as improving the efficiency of their operations, nurturing customers and increasing their number of staff.

The top ten strategies for business owners in 2013 are:
1 Improving my systems and processes 51%
2 Increase my customer acquisition activities 39%
3 Increase my product/service range 32%
4 Increase my customer retention activities 27%
5 Increase the time I spend working on my business rather than in it 26%
6 Increase the geographical areas I service 23%
7 Increase my spend on technology 22%
8 Increase my online marketing spend 22%
9 Increase my number of staff 20%
10 Increase my prices 17%

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says it’s encouraging to see business owners prioritising activities that focus on increasing their productivity, their service offering and their client base.

“What these results show is businesses are looking at creating a platform for growth - bringing on new staff, investing in new technology and increasing their market share.

“This is not a bunker mentality we are seeing. New Zealand’s businesses are looking to invest and grow in the year ahead, which is a fantastic sign for the economy in 2013.

“For operators looking for inspiration, there are several strategies to help transform your business so it’s in top shape for the year ahead. These include revisiting your business plan with a trusted advisor, investing in new and improved equipment and exploring ways to re-energise your team.”

MYOB’s seven steps to boosting your business:

It all starts with a plan

A clear strategic plan is the foundation of any successful business. A detailed, forward-looking plan covering all key business facets will ensure your activities are geared towards growing your profitability. Review and update your plan this month to ensure it takes into account any new developments or opportunities found last year and those you expect to work on this year. This could be investing in growing your market share, improving your market intelligence so the business is more competitive, or even aspects as simple as setting sales targets.

Seek professional advice

The mix of business commitments such as compliance, accounting, payroll, export rules, council codes and employment relations can be overwhelming for many business owners. Take the opportunity now to catch up with business advisors such as accountants and business coaches for advice on the year ahead. This is also a good time to tap into your wider networks to explore what opportunities they think are on the horizon for this year.

Review your supplier base

One way to boost business performance this year is to review your current contracts and suppliers, to see if you’re getting your money’s worth. Research your suppliers’ competitors to find out their service offering, prices and the discounts they’re prepared to offer for placing regular bulk orders, referrals, ongoing loyalty to their business and so on. Also consider whether a service you currently outsource can be carried out more cost effectively internally, or whether you can consolidate your suppliers.

Diversify your range

Innovation in products and services can be a sure way to stay well ahead of the competition. Offering a new or improved range to existing customers will help retain them and can also attract new customers. Find the courage to trim away any non-profitable activities and back the winners. Talk to a professional who can help identify what strategies, products and services deliver the healthiest returns, re-evaluate your margins and benchmark your performance against similar businesses.

Spruce up your systems and processes

With all the different hats that a business owner wears, getting your systems and processes right is vital to business success. Small businesses are spoilt for choice when it comes to technologies that will improve your efficiencies, such as MYOB’s range of business management solutions that help make business life easier. When it comes to improving processes consider building a comprehensive operations manual or fine-tuning the one you have, then have staff contribute to discussions on how to improve the way you work as a team.

Be where your customers are: online

With more than 80% of consumers researching online prior to making a purchase, being online offers a huge opportunity to connect with more customers. The latest MYOB Business Monitor survey revealed businesses with awebsite were 64% more likely to experience a revenue rise over the last financial year.

Re-engage your team

It can take some time to get back into work mode after a relaxing holiday, so consider ways you can reignite staff motivation. Perhaps organise a catered kick-off strategy meeting to celebrate the return to work and to run through plans for the year ahead. You could also have one-on-one meetings on how individual goals relate to these plans, so your staff understand the important role they play in the business. Getting your team fired up about projects on the horizon and how they can help the business succeed is a great way to get them back on task and fend off the post-holiday blues.

-ENDS-

For further information or immediate comment, please contact:

Kristy Sheppard

MYOB

Tel: 09 925 3560

Mob: +61 407 450 860

Email: kristy.sheppard@myob.com

Gerard Blank

The Agency Communications Limited

Tel: 03 341 5841

Mob: 0275 243 629

Email: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB New Zealand

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a nationwide survey, conducted by Colmar Brunton, of over 1,000 New Zealand business owners, across a range of small and medium businesses, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, and representing the major industry sectors. The MYOB Business Monitor is designed to research key areas of business performance, including profitability, cash flow and pipeline work, as well as business confidence.  Note: the weighting of MYOB client and non-client respondents is reflective of overall market proportions.