Small Business Accountants & Growth in 2024

As a small business, you know the challenges you face on a daily basis. You have to find your own opportunities to help your business grow. However, it has this week been announced that the UK has officially exited the recession with fastest growth in two years, which is fantastic for small business owners up and down the county.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the economy “has turned a corner”, after official figures showed that the UK emerged from recession at the start of the year. He said, “We know things are still tough for many people, but the plan is working, and we must stick to it.”

In the first 3 months of the year, the economy grew by 0.6% which is the fastest growth in two years, and much more than analysts predicted. Services including retail, public transport, haulage and health did particularly well, official figures show.

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, said the news was “encouraging” and confirmed that the longer term data about the UK economy is positive.

What does this mean for your Small Business?

If this rate of progress is sustained, the economy will return to a normal rate of growth, with the UK being at the top of the G7 league table. As we all know, the financial crisis of the late 2000s was the start of a very slow recovery for many years, but the start to 2024 could give momentum to the economy throughout this year, generating more business and consumer confidence.

This week it was also announced that the interest rates will remain at 5.25%, marking the sixth time in a row the rates have been held. However, the governor of the Bank has said he is “optimistic that things are moving in the right direction” but needs to “see more evidence” of falling inflation before cutting the base rate.

With that in mind, predictions show that interest rates should also start to fall in the summer.

Growing Your Small Business in a Digital Age

With such positive news regarding the economy, and as we’re only a month into the new financial year, now is the perfect time to implement new, digital tools for your business, to ensure you keep up with demand and instil customer confidence.

Although the economy as a whole is on the rise, you still need to ensure consumers pick you to spend their money with, over other competitors in your field.

Ensure your Website is up to date

Your website is the gateway to any new business coming your way. Whether you use a website as a storefront to advertise your goods and services, you allow customers to browse your offering or you sell online, chances are that your website is the first port of call for customers.

According to a November 2023 report from Amex, a substantial 53% of small retail businesses report most of their sales growth coming from online or e-commerce platforms over the past six months.

Looking at the bigger picture, this won’t be a temporary statistic – it will continue to rise, making your website the primary avenue for revenue. Creating a website that not only looks great but works from a user experience perspective could be the key to growing your business in 2024.

On top of this, make sure your website details are constantly up to date. Whether that be with the services you provide, your opening hours or by adding new content on their regularly, make sure your customer can find everything that they’re looking for.

The Power of Social Media

Having a platform on social media can be paramount to your success as a small business. With the rise in popularity of Instagram for a visual representation of businesses and brands, plus people now using Facebook and TikTok as a search engine in its own right, social media can help drive considerable sales and leads to your small business.

As part of your marketing plan for the year, investing time and money into your social media is integral to your success.

A Trendex report notes that 80% of small retail businesses used Instagram for sales in 2023, a significant increase from 51% the previous year.

The beauty of social media means you can try different ways to connect with your audience without having to spend a lot of money. Try Facebook advertising and different organic strategies to see which platform works best for your target audience.

Using AI Tools

Although there are so many negatives to AI for businesses, you can utilise it to allow you to manage your business much more effectively. Choosing the right artificial intelligence tool comes down to the requirements of your small business and its day-to-day activities.

Customer Relations

Enabling a CRM software can help you identify marketing opportunities based on its learnings from customer behaviour, data and insights into trends.

Marketing

Using tools such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Adobe Firefly can help you with content creation for your social media if it’s not something you’ve done before.

Chatbots

Adding a chatbot to your website can help assist with customer queries that can be answered through keywords, meaning your staff can be freed up for more complex issues. It also means you can extend your hours of customer service.

Transcription

AI recording and transcription tools can be a handy aid if you need to capture meeting notes or tasks as part of your business.

Reward your Customers

Enhancing customer engagement can be done incredibly easily by implementing a customer loyalty program. Repeat customers can account for a huge percentage of your revenue if you do it right. Not only is it an incentive for your customer, but using technology can help you track customer preferences and behaviour, offer personalised vouchers and incentives, and engage customer experiences.

Customers can be contacted via email with their rewards, or you can even build an app so everything is at their fingertips.

Use MTD-Compliant Accounting Software

When you appoint Gorilla Accounting, FreeAgent access is included at no extra cost as part of your accounting package. As trusted small business accountants, using FreeAgent allows your dedicated accountant, and you, to have access to your bookkeeping records on the go, wherever you may be.

FreeAgent accounting software is trusted by over 100,000 small businesses, contractors and freelancers and has won multiple awards over many years. It’s specifically designed for small businesses, whether operating through a limited company or as a sole trader.

What FreeAgent can help your Small Business with:

  • VAT returns are generated automatically
  • Electronically submit returns to HMRC
  • Upload receipts and manage your expenses
  • Automated bank feeds upload transactions from your bank account daily
  • Time tracking enables you to log time spent on tasks and projects
  • Data helps to bill clients accurately and easily
  • Create and send professional, personalised invoices
  • Unpaid invoices can be tracked to eradicate missed payments
  • Clients can pay you quickly and securely online
  • Self-assessment tax returns can be prepared and submitted to HMRC

Appointing Gorilla as your Small Business Accountants

Finding an accountancy firm that you can trust can sometimes seem like a daunting process. However, as the most trusted accountancy firm on Trustpilot, Gorilla Accounting is the perfect choice.

With the economy looking to go from strength to strength this year, now is the perfect time to start working with an accountant who can help keep your finances in check.

The right accountant is not just a service provider but should be seen as a trusted partner who is invested in your business’ success. If you’re looking for an accountant, you can send us an enquiry through our website or call us on 0330 024 0406.

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