Even when the economic waters are still, any businessperson will tell you that running a Business
is not a walk in the park. It becomes much more difficult when tough times come. While some small businesses sail through the murky waters successfully, a good percentage bow to pressure and call it quits. There is a thin line between your business surviving or dying in such tough times, and what you do makes all the difference. Here are some strategies that small businesses can adopt to stay afloat through the tough times.
All images from Unsplash
1. Keep a positive mind
Whenever faced by a difficulty, it is easy to have a negative mindset. You will start overanalyzing the situation, wondering how you got there in the first place. Then comes the self-doubt of your capabilities to steer the business to a safe place. Having a negative mindset will only delay you from taking the necessary steps to salvage the situation. It is important that you keep a positive mind through the difficult period. It will help you keep faith in your abilities, and you will find the confidence to move forward. Your employees are looking at you, and when they see your confidence, they are motivated to keep working through the tough period.
2. Reduce costs creatively
Reducing costs becomes necessary when a small business is faced with a tough period. However, you need to be crafty when doing this. You don’t want to cut too much and limp business operations, but you still need to free up enough cash to be able to continue operating. Look for the costs that you can cut without affecting operations. Instead of meeting clients over lunch, opt to invite them to the office. If you have a high internet speed, you can go for a lower speed at a reduced cost. If some jobs can be done remotely, consider taking this route to save on office overheads.
3. Continue pushing your name
It may sound counteractive to spend money on marketing while you should be reducing costs, but failing to market yourself will mean fewer customers and less money. Instead of forgoing marketing altogether, use cheaper ways to get your name out there. You can use social media to advertise, sponsor local events such as sports, or participate in trade fairs.
It is common for small businesses to focus locally on marketing. While it is good to be established locally, it is important to look beyond the boundaries during difficult times in order to increase the audience and tap into the international market. Find cheaper ways to establish your presence in other countries such as hiring locals in those countries using employment solutions providers like International PEO.
Hiring staff through an international PEO will not only help you be established in a foreign country without registering a legal entity there, but you will have a wider pool to choose the best talent for your team.
4. Take care of the customers
Customers are the heart of any business. With the tough competition out there, it is very important that you take care of your customers during difficult times. You don’t want to lose their business as the money they bring will help you stay afloat. If you have to make tough decisions, ensure that they are not hurting the customers’ experience. If it is inevitable, be transparent with them about the changes and ask for their understanding. Putting your focus on the customers will make them loyal to you during a difficult period and in the future.
5. Track and analyze data
Collecting data is vital for any business. During tough times, tracking data in every business aspect is crucial as it can give useful insights that you would otherwise not get. Data analysis reveals business trends that can be useful in creating forecasts. It shows where opportunities lie that you can take advantage of during that difficult time. Be sure to pay attention to the data being collected, understand the analysis, and find places that you can capitalize on.
Tough times in business will always be there; there will be economic downtimes, harsh competition, and pandemics that will shake business survival. You should always remember that however difficult a situation is, there is a positive to it. It is during this time that you will be forced to be innovative, and you might discover new ways of doing business. It is also a learning opportunity that is necessary for business growth.