3 best practice steps for taking your business to the next level
In the words of Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and one of the biggest inspirational leaders of all time, ‘Patience is a key element of success.’
While it’s widely acknowledged that business success doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time to cultivate, involves multiple steps forward and as many steps backwards before getting things right – it involves just as much planning and focus as it does patience.
Among many things, having a clear business strategy in place is pivotal to working efficiently and effectively, moving with the times, maximising those project failures, making winning decisions, staying ahead of the competition (and the digital era) and ultimately, thriving and contributing to the future economic outlook.
Let’s take a look at some of the measures companies across all sectors can implement to deliver in the areas listed above and take their business to the next level:
STEP #1: Do implement efficient structures
Businesses evolve over time, which means it’s incredibly rare for them to look the same as they did on day one as they do a year down the line. Teams, clients, expectations, achievements, failures, objectives will all have evolved and it’s those companies who proactively adapt to these changes as they happen – and learn from them – that have a much greater chance of maximising their success factor.
Having the right structure in place to anticipate and respond to market and wider changes plays a fundamental role in enabling companies to keep delivering and achieving, regardless of the challenges that may come their way. These challenges can range from anything between achieving increased operational efficiencies and reducing costs to understanding changing customer behaviour.
And, of course, given the increasingly digital world in which we now operate and the Government’s drive to deliver on the promises set out within its Industrial Strategy, the benefits of tapping into the latest technological advances, for instance, by using AI or AR to move away from more traditional processes and implement more streamlined digital processes, are widespread.
STEP #2: Don’t overlook project failure
Unfortunately, some projects fly and some projects fail, but it’s how businesses, irrespective of their size or the sector in which they operate, deal with these failures that can determine their future fate.
In the case of the IT sector, research published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) revealed 14% of IT projects fail, 31% didn’t meet their goals, 43% exceeded their initial budgets and 49% were late.
When a project fails to deliver on its promises, it can be easy to want to simply move on. But it’s important to take the time to delve into the specifics to see if there are any lessons that can be learned from the mistakes to make sure they aren’t repeated.
According to the PMI, 45% of failures are budget-related, which is hardly surprising given the fact funding, or lack of it, is one of the most common downfalls of businesses. However, what many don’t realise, is that there is financial support out there that they may not realise they’re eligible for. HMRC’s R&D Tax Credit scheme is a prime example – it can help forward-thinking businesses unlock their potential and maximise opportunities that will enable them to survive. If a company’s investing in R&D, making a claim could ultimately mean keeping their business. (For more on this, check out our blog, ‘Increasing your cashflow with R&D.’)
STEP #3: Do make winning decisions
There are so many opportunities out there that can springboard a business from steady to successful. We have, of course, mentioned R&D tax credits and the Patent Box, which pays businesses to invest in innovation.
But there are many more savvy business decisions that can pay dividends in the short and long-term too. They can range from making sure your accounts are up-to-date and your VAT returns take place on time (avoiding any hefty late payment penalties from HMRC in the process), to investing in the latest software to comply with Making Tax Digital and assessing your financial performance against the strategies we spoke about at the start of this post.
These responsibilities exist within most businesses, yet not all of them are actioned in a way that yields the best results. It’s possible to use all of these different avenues to your advantage, if you know how. (We know how and we’re happy to show you too).
Do you want to take your business to the next level through R&D tax relief, the Patent Box or by making smarter accounting and operational decisions?
We can help, contact us today for a free business consultation by completing this short form. In the meantime, check out this case study for details of the difference our business planning and strategy support can make.
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