Getting financially fit for the future
Mita Srinivasan

Getting financially fit for the future

SME10X and UPS share strategies to ensure your business stays financially fit and is ready to navigate the new normal

The UAE has the best possible infrastructure for robust and competitive growth. Through the years, the country has evolved to foster entrepreneurship, renew business opportunities and raise standards of quality and productivity. As the backbone of the country’s economy, SMEs have naturally played a pivotal role in enabling this transformation and supporting long-term innovation.

Now, as the country looks to a new normal, SMEs need to renew their commitment towards financial competitiveness and innovation. One of the biggest focal points moving forward would be how SMEs reinvent themselves to stay differentiated in an ever-evolving global market.

Looking ahead, the following areas will be of utmost significance to SMEs and their financial growth: evolving global dynamics, rapid technological advancement and a slowdown in cross-border travel. And as a pillar of support for SMEs aiming to thrive in the future economy, we would like to share a few strategies to buck these trends.

1. Ensure alignment of existing procedures with new technologies: With consumers across almost every industry going online, it is important to understand how you can pivot your business to adapt to the current digital transformation wave. As your business adopts emerging technologies, it’s possible to get detracted from your core offering. To unlock maximum value from new technologies, ensure that your business strikes the right balance between existing procedures and innovation-driven activities. This will ensure quality and interoperability as well as proper commercialization of emergent technologies.

Also read: Digital offers a lifeline to small businesses

2. Partner with other businesses: A Microsoft and SurveyMonkey survey revealed that 18.9 per cent of small businesses in the US are looking to partner with fellow small business owners as part of their strategy. Getting into mutually beneficial agreements with companies in complementary industries can help you leverage each other’s strengths. Think of it as a start-up in an accelerator programme that reaches out to other entrepreneurs to combine skills and create something extraordinary. Moreover, companies across the world are opting for this partnership model that allows them to raise the profile of their business by extending their capabilities and reaching out to a wider demographic to continue their business operations.

3. Equip your workforce with the necessary skills: Workforce development will continue to be a strategic priority for businesses. In fact, this is more important than ever as the skills gap widens due to technological advancement and a lot of industries are being forced to change their traditional business models. To stay ahead of the curve, SMEs should partner with higher-learning institutes and incorporate skills-development modules into their workplaces. This is perhaps the most important area moving into the new normal as companies will need to develop the right mindset, knowledge and skillset if they want to excel in the near future.

4. Get innovative with business models: In his online article, Chris Byrne of UPS shares some great insight: “To spur revenue growth through their online storefronts, many businesses have ramped up their marketing efforts by offering more discounts and promotions. Businesses are also adjusting their long-term e-commerce strategy as a result of this pandemic. Nineteen percent plan to add new e-commerce channels as a means of reaching more customers. Other businesses are focusing on website improvements to enhance the customer experience, including the roll out of back-end solutions to help fulfill customer orders more efficiently.”

We hope these strategies will prove to useful as your business gets ready to enter a new realm.