Small-to-medium enterprise (SME) owners are a tough bunch. This toughness may as well be a prerequisite. Navigating through a pandemic only to find soaring interest rates, rocketing cost of goods and talks of an impending global recession on the other side, would be enough to send many people into hiding – but SME owners are still standing strong.

Where there’s a will, there’s most often a way – and SME owners across New Zealand are adopting a range of tactics to maximise growth in 2023, and beyond.

At Bizcap, we’re all about helping SME owners. So, here are six small business tips that could give your business a major advantage over the coming months.

1. Review your pricing

Tweaking and/or increasing your pricing strategy is always a difficult call to make. However, it could be essential in order to make a profit this year. The reality is that $100 today isn’t worth the same as $100 last year, and while it may seem counterintuitive to increase prices in a world where people have less to spend, it’s something that may need to be done. After all, prices of goods and services are increasing across the board – the prices you’re paying to suppliers have likely increased significantly – and if you don’t lift prices, your profit could take a hit.

2. Reconsider how you’re marketing your product and/or service

It’s vital to review all of your business spending to ensure you’re getting maximum bang for your buck, and Marketing is essential for most businesses. It’s also an activity that can drain money quickly – especially if you’re not measuring its effectiveness. As consumers, we’re exposed to over 10,000 ads every day, so whatever you do needs to have a point of difference – you need to stand out.

This year, brands are becoming more creative and favouring a long-term, brand-building strategy rather than focusing on short-term wins. Economic downturns often wreak havoc on the marketing department, but with some planning and flexibility, your company can be ready to take on what comes next.

For more on how to build a resilient marketing strategy, click here.

3. Keep your customers close by email

By focusing on building your database and communicating with them directly, it can be easier to maximise revenue potential from the customers you already have a relationship with. Email marketing is predicted to have a resurgence this year, as SMEs look for more cost-effective and reliable ways of connecting with their audiences.

By building your ‘owned’ database (the internet is littered with stories of brands losing their social followers overnight due to being hacked or suffering a system glitch), you’re in control of who you’re communicating with and how. And by segmenting that audience in a meaningful way, you can deliver hyper-relevant comms, which is increasingly important in today’s digital world.

4. Ensure you’re maximising the online opportunity

The pandemic saw a huge increase in online retail activity, and that trend continued in 2022 – November 2022 saw a 7.7% year-on-year increase in online sales.

Customers want to purchase online, and in 2023 businesses will be ensuring their online sales experience is as strong as possible. Ensuring your products are easy to find and easy to purchase online, can have a significant increase on sales. You need to make sure you’re completely transparent and view the experience you’re offering through the eyes of your customers.

An important note: shipping costs added at the point of purchase are the number one reason for people abandoning their cart.

5. Make the most of technology

Businesses are embracing technology like never before to streamline processes, increase efficiency and drive growth. One of the latest technological advancements is the use of AI-powered language models like ChatGPT for various business operations, such as customer service, sales, and marketing. These models can automate tasks, generate content, and even provide insights and recommendations.

By utilizing the latest technology, businesses can improve their competitiveness, save time and resources, and meet the evolving needs of their customers. The future of business is becoming increasingly intertwined with technology, and companies that embrace this change will reap the rewards. Ensuring you have the right tech is something that’s being prioritised by SMEs who are keen to take their business to the next level.

6. Get cash flow back up

A continual challenge in business is balancing the competing priorities of today, and six months’ time. While you might know you need to spend on new technology (or invest in a new marketing approach) the realities of the business’ cash flow may dictate your business has to live in the present day. While that’s understandable, it can lead to slow growth or stagnation.

If you find yourself in need of fast cash, you should have a backup plan in place. Helping SMEs navigate those cash flow challenges is the reason Bizcap exists – and with short-term finance of $5K – $2M available in your account within three hours, there’s no need to put any of your 2023 plans on hold.

Some other considerations for SMEs: plan for interruptions with both staffing and supply, plan for interest rates to rise and cost of living to continue to put pressure on your potential customers. Remember, planning for the worst and hoping for the best will serve you well in the year ahead.

For more tips and trends you can adopt to grow your business this year, read our 2023 Business Outlook blog.

To learn more about our fast and hassle-free business loan solution to help your business grow this year, call us on 1300 922 223. Alternatively, apply