Dragons’ Den star shares the ‘overlooked area’ that could help small businesses thrive

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Former Dragons’ Den panellist Piers Linney has given his top tips to help small businesses prosper post-pandemic. A champion for small and medium-sized enterprises, Mr Linney believes that now is the time to reassess one’s business in order to kick on.

Mr Linney is a vocal supporter of the entrepreneurs that drive Britain’s economic success, and has offered five key pieces of advice to help small businesses take advantage of the sunnier economic picture that lies ahead.

Productivity – the time is now

“Small businesses have limited resources and it is important that those resources are focused on creating the most value,” he said.

“Doing more with the resources you have leads to higher profits and reduced operating risk.

“UK small businesses have lower productivity compared to other countries due to the low adoption of technology, especially to automate time consuming and mundane tasks.

“Conducting effective and regular reviews are a sure-fire way to consolidate current resources, identify areas of improvement, and increase the overall productivity of your business.

“With every outgoing cost, ask yourself, are you getting the best deal? If the answer is anything short of ‘absolutely’, explore the possibility to renegotiate, reduce, or even remove it altogether.”

Liberate your time

“Time is of the essence – use it wisely.

“Be ruthless when it comes to the time you are spending on activities that could easily be automated by the correct software, or even outsourced if costs are reasonable.

“One key, but sometimes overlooked area to assess is the financial side of your business. From day-to-day accounts, to invoicing, to expenses – these processes can all be automated.

“Not only does automation free up time for you to provide a better service to customers, it can also reduce costs, improve employee satisfaction, and, in turn, grow your business.”

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Don’t undersell yourself

“Something that has emerged since the monopoly of big corporations began – and has been escalated by the Covid crisis – is the sad fact that smaller, owner-led businesses are undervaluing themselves and leaving profit on the table.

“Irrespective of the industry in which your business operates, it is imperative to always know the value that your business brings to the market, and promote your products or services accordingly.

“This applies to even the most straightforward decisions like pricing. Are you pricing your product or service correctly? Have you done your research and compared this across your relevant market?

“Consider supply and demand – it is possible to increase your price as long as the sales continue to be made.”

You are your business

“If the pandemic has taught the business world anything, it is the importance of establishing your company’s own routine that is sustainable in the long run.

“This especially applies to small businesses.

“75 percent of small business owners are sole traders and, as the furlough scheme draws to a close and businesses are having to look at paying back loans from the past eighteen months, there is no better time to actively ensure that your business is in good health.

“Establishing a clear plan for future development is key to unlocking your business’ growth potential.

“There will always be something or someone to disrupt your progress, but this is where discipline, planning and access to guidance is vital.

“If you’re looking after yourself, you’re looking after your business.”

Invest in the right tech and tools

“We all know that tech is the future. It has certainly come to the rescue for businesses all over the world, no matter how small, in the past year.

“Looking ahead and into a brighter economic future for small businesses, it is vital that your business has a first-class ticket on this tech bandwagon.

“Learn how to best use the right technology and online tools to streamline internal processes, cut costs in the long run, and allow your business to run more smoothly than ever.”

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