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Five actions every SME should take in 2023

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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Whether or not the UK is technically in recession, the cost-of-living crisis is certainly curbing consumers’ spending power. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, 93% of people report that their cost of living is higher than it was a year ago. This means that many businesses are facing a tough year ahead. With that in mind, UK sales transformation specialist Sales Talent has shared five actions that every small and medium enterprise (SME) owner can take in 2023 to enhance their chances of success. 

“Whether we’re in the midst of economic growth of 0.1% or a contraction of 0.1% right now, the difference for businesses on the ground is minimal. The fact remains that consumers have less disposable income than they did this time last year. But there is still plenty that businesses can do to counterbalance the tough times.”

Paul Owen, MD, Sales Talent 

Five actions every SME should take 

  • Do better research

It isn’t time to panic and start desperately cold calling to try and drum up business. Instead, research shows that taking the time to research potential customers can pay dividends. According to the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2022, 82% of top performing salespeople always carry out research before they get in touch with prospects. Pausing before picking up the phone and investing time in each prospect can make a big difference.

  • Invest in your staff

If a business is quiet, it’s the perfect time to focus on nurturing staff. Investing in a training programme can reassure teams that they have a long-term future with the company. It can also strengthen team and individual performance, ready for when things pick up again. There is always potential for staff to develop, so a programme of continuous learning can benefit both individuals and the business as a whole. 

  • Be dynamic 

While large companies can take weeks or even months to make decisions and implement them, small and medium-sized businesses have the advantage of being fast and flexible when it comes to decision making. 

“Whether it’s a change of course, a new strategy, a training programme or anything else, a tough economic climate is the ideal time to be dynamic and put new plans in motion. Smaller businesses have the agility to experiment and adapt. If you and your business aren’t taking advantage of that, ask yourself what you could change.”

Paul Owen, MD, Sales Talent 

  • Don’t wait and see

The greatest danger to a business that’s facing financial difficulties is to wait and see. Economic pressures can feel overwhelming, but this can cloud the potential to make changes and pursue local advantages. There is plenty on offer for small and medium enterprises around the UK, from micro-grants to free business masterclasses for owners. Finding out what is available locally can open up new avenues to move a business forward. 

  • Stay focused on your ethics

Many small business owners start their companies because they are passionate about a particular product or service. It’s important to keep that in mind when times are tough, as operating in line with your principles is essential to long-term success. Not only can doing so impact your reputation – and with social media and sites such as TrustPilot, reputation has never been more important – but it can also ensure you feel good about what you do. And that is key to keeping a business going and remaining happy doing so over the longer term. 

“Times are tough but that doesn’t mean that opportunities aren’t out there for small and medium businesses. Success might mean a change of mindset or refocusing on a new direction. Staying positive and keeping an eye on the horizon will be important in 2023.”


Paul Owen, MD, Sales Talent