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For many people, the end of each year is ‘out with the old and in with the new’ as they make resolutions to improve their lives. It should be no different for business owners as 2018 draws to a close; the approaching new year should be a time for reflection on what may come in the next twelve months.

We take a look at five things you can do to make 2019 your best year in business.


1. Be Prepared

It will come as no surprise to any business owner that regulations will change during 2019. They are all well publicised giving principals the opportunity to familiarise themselves and staff with those rule changes.

Time spent preparing before their implementation gives you more time to spend productively on profitable endeavours. Trying to catch up with rules and their operation retrospectively is always laborious and more likely to lead to costly mistakes later on.


2. Get Your IT Systems Up-To-Date

According to Deloitte, SMEs which utilise cloud software “are more profitable by 21% on average” than those which do not. The mobility of access which cloud-based applications afford businesses contributes to greater efficiencies by encouraging collaboration by staff members.

As a matter of course, cloud providers offer higher specification security on their servers than can be afforded by most SMEs. It’s a hi-tech industry which relies upon keeping your information safe; a tremendous service at a fraction of the cost of maintaining your own server capacity and security.


3. Make Sure Your Social Media Profiles Are Relevant

Despite adverse publicity, the online world still revolves around social media and they remain an exceptional marketing tool for your business. But they don’t look after themselves.

To be effective, however, you need customer engagement. Get out there into the wide world and promote your products and services in an effective manner with a broader reach than catalogs.

This is the first point of contact many people will have with your business, so this is the chance to make an unforgettable impression. Instagram is the platform many analysts predict will become a key tool for businesses in 2019; make sure you don’t miss the boat because your competitors won’t.


4. Invest In Your Staff

The most important asset a business has is its’ staff. They are your frontline with customers and suppliers alike. It’s these relationships which are your lifeblood and the fertile ground in which the business grows.

Keeping staff well-trained and well-motivated is a simple ethos but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t do either effectively. Manage relationships with employees effectively and it is amazing the positive impact this has on growth and profitability.

Equally as important is remembering that your staff are people whose mental health and physical well-being is vital. Businesses which take a holistic approach to their employees are the ones which thrive.


5. Make Sure You Know Where You Are Going

Over 5,000 businesses fail every year but never for one reason. However, at their core, a large number fail to maintain focus and drift.

Make sure you know your roadmap for 2019; where you want to be and how you want to get there are the key strategies for a successful year. Regular monitoring of progress with timely remedial action if you are veering or being pushed off course is a vital management tool.

A successful business is a well-managed business. You can be that business.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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