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Posted 29th May 2024

Navigating the New Normal: How SMEs Can Succeed in 2024

Building a business has never been easy, but in recent years - following a global pandemic, a cost of living crisis and other economic challenges – it has certainly become more challenging.

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navigating the new normal: how smes can succeed in 2024.

Navigating the New Normal: How SMEs Can Succeed in 2024
Remote communication

By Kevin Brent, Founder of BizSmart

Building a business has never been easy, but in recent years – following a global pandemic, a cost of living crisis and other economic challenges – it has certainly become more challenging.

As a result, there have been so many changes for business owners to navigate, with the increase and prioritisation of remote and hybrid working models putting a particular strain on communication, team cohesion and business growth.

Communication is key for any organisation to maintain stability and unity. Yet, with 60% of SME businesses offering remote or hybrid working options to attract and retain top talent – more and more business owners are having to find new ways of enhancing team engagement to ensure success.

Step up communication channels

The importance of communication in business cannot be overstated. From communicating daily and weekly priorities to discussing the wider objectives of a business; maintaining regular and consistent communication channels is essential, especially for turning objectives into tangible results. Findings supplied by Expert Market echo this, reporting that 86% of employees cited that lack of effective collaboration and communication was a leading contributor to workplace failures.

In addition, communication within remote settings has also proven to be a challenge for making genuine connections and maintaining team collaboration, which is an important part of maintaining morale and job satisfaction according to Gusto’s research; as affirmed by 37% of employees revealing they remain at their workplace because of a great team.  

To address concerns about team cohesion and improve communication, SMEs should increase the number of communication channels available to their teams, and ensure that they are regularly facilitating team catchups and alignment opportunities. This can be achieved by setting up weekly calls to agree on the priorities for the week, monthly round-up calls to report on progress, and regular one-to-one reviews with employees. It is also important to embrace the latest technologies to maintain consistent communication, using platforms such as virtual meetings, collaborative software tools like ASANA, and transparent channels that can help bridge the gaps caused by remote working.

By prioritising communication between the business, individuals and teams, SMEs can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page, while working towards bolstering the future success of the business.

Utilise outside resources

Thinking outside of the box when it comes to ideas and business strategies can be a powerful tool for any business owner and can be the key to unlocking team alignment and addressing evolving challenges.

By utilising resources such as seminars, business workshops, networking events, webinars, podcasts and peer-to-peer support; SMEs can tap into a world of knowledge from experienced business minds.  

A recent report by BizSmart® highlights the transformative impact of peer-to-peer support on business leaders. In its findings, 100% of participants reported increased confidence and leadership capacity and had increased their goals and ambitions, while an additional 83% noted a boost in business resilience.

These resources and group sessions provide a supportive platform for open discussions and collective learning, equipping business leaders with the tools and resilience to overcome obstacles and thrive in 2024.

Increase business performance reviews

As the current business world appears to be constantly changing, it seems that the previous process of annual or six-month reviews may not be as effective as they once were.

While it is still important toregularly analyse habits, goals, and challenges every year, only valulating a businesses via an annual review does not allow for adaptability or ‘in the moment’ response to challenges when they present themselves. As such, increasing the frequency of reviews and changing to a quarterly or 90-day rhythm, can be a more effective way of reaching business goals.

Using a framework such as a 90-day plan, enables businesses to ask the question, ‘what does good look like in 90 days’ time?’ or ‘when we meet in 90 days, what must have happened between now and then for us to consider the quarter to be a success?’

The idea behind this framework is that it is short enough to secure tangible results over a 90-day period, while also contributing to the wider business goals. This timeframe also provides an opportunity to assess and adjust a business model if necessary. For instance, if certain products or services are not selling as planned or there is a shift in consumer demand, a quarterly review can help you explore new markets or something new to your customers in a more responsive and timely manner. It’s always important to stay up to date with the latest trends, and conducting quarterly reviews can allow for the flexibility to make effective and rapid changes.

Final thoughts

The modern business world presents many new challenges for business owners looking to navigate team alignment and foster collaboration. It is therefore important to lean towards adopting new practices to maintain communication, especially in remote settings.

From updating reviewing systems and increasing communication channels, to implementing quarterly reviews and embracing the latest technologies; SMEs have an array of tools that can help to foster team alignment, enhance communication and turn business goals into measurable and achievable results.

Categories: Business Advice, News

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