How Can SMEs Keep Up to Date with the Fast-Changing Business World?
In today’s fast-changing business environment, it can be difficult for SMEs to keep track of everything that’s going on in the world. As a leading provider of UK serviced offices, Basepoint keeps an eye on all kinds of business issues. Here we will take a look at how you can make sure you keep up with all the latest developments which might affect your company.
Technology – Digital advances have completely revolutionised the world of commerce. Social media is becoming increasingly important for SMEs, as a way of doing business. It’s a good idea to consider launching company Facebook and Twitter accounts, if you do not already have a presence in these channels, to find out about what is trending online and raise awareness of what you offer.
Keeping abreast of advances in new technology could also save you money. Video conferences can mean you don’t have to physically get together for a meeting with colleagues or clients at the other end of the country, while switching to online bookkeeping could cut down on time-consuming office paperwork.
While small businesses are often hard-pressed for time, it’s always essential to make sure somebody is responsible for keeping a close eye on your own company’s website. It won’t create a good impression if the last update to the site was a year ago, or the site is full of dead web links.
Legal Obligations – Laws and regulations affecting small businesses is always changing, so it can be difficult to keep up, but you need to know about any changes affecting your sector. If you’re just starting out, you need to make sure you register as an employer with HMRC. The government’s own website has comprehensive advice about hiring and paying employees and your statutory obligations as an employer. There are also a number of Government-backed schemes which offer a range of advice and financial help in areas such as tax.
If you are concerned about an impending change in the law and wonder how it will affect you, it can also help to speak to other small companies who will be facing the same question, or to get advice from a mentor. Many legal firms also offer specialist support for SMEs, which can be tailored to fit your individual requirements.
Politically Speaking – Decisions both in Whitehall and made by local councils can have an impact on your business, even if any legislation may take months or years to come into effect. You can use local media and websites to keep up with events happening on your doorstep, and if you have a problem or an issue you want raised, it could help to speak to a councillor or to your constituency MP.
As well as domestic politics, the EU is responsible for some of our business legislation – for example the Data Protection Act, which has important implications for many small businesses which handle computerised information. Brexit means it is even more important to keep tabs on what is going on with regard to the EU.
TV Insights – As well as factual programmes, shows like the BBC’s Dragon’s Den can provide useful pointers for SMEs and give an insight into how the business world is changing. The importance of effective leadership, teamwork, knowing your brief and having a unique selling point are themes which can apply to all SMEs, not just contestants on the show.
Networking – Being a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and other business organisations can boost your local contacts and help you to find out what your friends and competitors in the business community are doing. Maintaining a presence at local business conferences and awards ceremonies could also help put you in touch with the right people, and, in the case of the latter, you might even win something, receiving some welcome free publicity into the bargain.
Basepoint Business Centres is a leading UK serviced office provider, with centres in many UK towns, including Haywards Heath, Chepstow, Tilbury and Swindon. Networking events are regularly held in all our centres, so that SMEs can feel part of a community and help one another. If you rent serviced office space from us, you will also be able to benefit from our free business support service, MiBase, which enables access to experienced mentors around the clock. This means you can get advice to help you deal with all kinds of issues. Click here to find out more about our range of services.