When I think of a new year, I automatically think of a soccer season. Forget the January blues, the transfer window is open and it’s actually a really exciting time for small business owners.

It’s around this time of year when managers are busy reflecting on what happened during the past 12 months and how they can utilize their team to make this year better.

But how can you ensure your business is always challenging at the top of the league? Having been a small business owner for the last ten years, I can share a hat-trick of tips to hit your goals in 2015.

1. Tactics

It’s important to keep things simple. After all, why complicate things? I read an article the other day that claimed that in America alone, up to $550 billion is lost each year due to poor productivity levels. It’s essential, especially in small businesses, that your staff are not tying themselves in knots to complete the most basic of tasks. To do this, make sure your business has the right systems and structure in place. It’s no coincidence that the best performing teams use these to reach the top.

Interestingly, the same article reported that organizations with engaged employees have a better bottom line. After all, a happy worker is a productive one. Get the right systems, structure and your team onside and you’ll witness results.

2. Team

It’s a new year and like many organizations, you may be considering hiring new staff following your annual review. But finding the right people can be tricky and expensive. Mistakes are commonplace. Finding somebody with the right attitude, culture and shared values who fits in with your organization is often as important as their skills. When it comes to culture, find somebody who fits in well. Don’t consider accommodating your culture for any new signings.

If you are recruiting, use your network. Put something on LinkedIn and advertise internally. If you can’t find the right candidate or you don’t want to don’t want to teach old dogs new tricks, consider an apprentice.

There’s been a resurgence in apprenticeships recently and, in many cases, organizations receive financial assistance from governments when hiring youngsters. There’s nothing like young blood to bring some energy to a team.

3. Training

Once you’ve found the right team and have the right processes in place, how do you keep your team at the top of their game? A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personal Development found that staff are less likely to leave an organization if they are given an individual training and development plan. Learning on the job is a great way of keeping your team on side and at their most productive.

For small and medium enterprises, providing high quality training and development may seem like an expense that can be spared. Yet a clearly defined training and development plan can stop your players searching for a transfer to a rival.

Morgan Browne, CEO, IIS Group
Morgan Browne, CEO, IIS Group

Morgan Browne is the Chief Executive at IIS Group, an SAP Gold partner firm. Over the last ten years, IIS has helped organisations across Europe simplify their business process with SAP Business One­ – the market leading ERP solution. If you’d like to streamline your organisation, improve productivity and boost your bottom line, you can contact one of our small business experts to find out more.

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