Every business owner wants to keep their business running. The goal is to keep cash flowing and create huge profits, but being a businessman, it is natural to be faced with difficult times and even losses. At this point, the goal should be the efficient running of the organisation—maximising the work output and minimising the losses. A business always has some highs and lows, but one needs to be always aware of the work environment and the external environment to keep oneself from sinking during the lows. If you are a small business and you are looking for ways to save your business and minimise losses, we have a few tips that you can implement for your business to stay afloat.
1. Create a plan and organise your business
Now that you have a clear and unbiased look at your business, it’s time to create a fool-proof plan to combat the crisis. Identify the areas where your business is failing and try to spot the discrepancies in your business, and plan steps to overcome them. Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help you plan your future staples. Organise every aspect of your business to make it more efficient and incur fewer losses.
2. Protect your assets
Your assets are the backup you can count on to save your business and keep it afloat during tough times. You should take extra steps to protect your assets as they can come in handy to keep your daily operations running if you are low on cash and capital investments. Your employees are also the most significant and critical asset of your company. Since human capital (HC) is such an intangible asset, it can be challenging to measure it, but here is a Forbes article that can guide you. Internal employees and managers can help you to pull your business out of a crisis. While organising your business, share your agenda with key employees and managers, and build a robust team and use it as an asset to combat any crisis.
3. Use digital technology and quality marketing
A recent Deloitte survey suggests that digital technology helps in cutting costs and making business more efficient. Digital technology is a boon to small businesses. It’s not heavy on your pockets and is extremely efficient. Using the right digital technology can save you time and deliver high results, which will end up saving costs and bringing more profits to your business. Several online tools can help you streamline your tasks and save so much time and human work. Free online tools can also help you manage and organise your day, schedule meetings, and set reminders to have a productive day. The more you save your time, the more you can focus on the bigger picture of your business to make informed choices. Relook at your existing marketing strategies and include digital marketing efforts to drive a good return on investment. Rethink your target audience, communication, and look at your competitors to find any loopholes and areas of improvement in your current marketing strategy. A quality marketing strategy can be one sure shot way to bring your business back up.
Outsourcing can have its advantages and disadvantages, but if it’s used efficiently, it can be a great tool to save money, time, streamline work, and get high-quality results. Not all aspects of the business need to be done in-house. Outsourcing some operations to people with high expertise can be a winning deal for your business. This can help you make more time to focus on the money-making side of the business.
5. Make use of networking
Networking is a very important aspect of running a business. There are so many events happening around with a focus only on business networking. You can meet potential clients and also raise your profile to get more clients. You can also meet valuable connections that can help your business in the future to expand and even collaborate. Networking can also help you meet more successful business owners and interact with them. This can help you evaluate your business efforts and get some tips, and learning from them.
6. Reduce expenses
To keep your business and its operations running, you will have to start reducing costs, and that is a harsh truth. Evaluate your costs and start identifying and cutting out unnecessary or discretionary ones. You can then start lowering your power expenses, monthly bills, and travel costs. You can start asking for discounts from your vendors to make some savings. If the business requires more capital, you might have to let go of some office space and even employees to make ends meet. This can be a tough one, but you can try reducing compensation at first to see if you can manage.
7. Prioritise what you pay
Every business has its share of monthly bills and expenses, and if your business is doing well, it just appears to be a monthly ritual. But when you are trying to stay afloat, your expenses can exceed your available cash, and that is a huge problem for your business. Prioritise your payable in the order that the first payments should be the ones that will let you shut your business down if not paid. Pay your employees on time and keep this expense at your priority as they are the driving force behind your company. Taxes are also important expenses and which you cannot ignore. There are expenses you can negotiate and can ask for more time to clear them. It’s okay to be tight pocketed and voice your business problems at this time.
8. Talk to customers/clients/creditors
In continuation to voicing your problems, make sure you also talk to your stakeholders. As a business owner, you will probably have debts to pay. Though you will be short on resources, don’t ignore your creditors. Instead, talk to them and explain your situation and assure them about your plan to pay them back. Most creditors have been through such situations and are understanding. The same goes for your clients and customers. Customers and clients bring in revenue for your business and hence are the most important aspect for your business. Have an open conversation with your most loyal and trusted clients/customers to understand your business from their point of view. Here you can understand the limitations and scope of improvement for your product/service. You can also understand the plus points of your products or services, and you can highlight them more in your further communications.
9. Think long term
When you see a crisis hitting, or you think you might incur some losses, the immediate reflex is to find a short-term fix that can get you out of the situation. It can be limited-period product offers, short motivation talks with your employees, or other gimmicks, but these small crises—if not handled properly—can snowball into a bigger hit. When you want to keep your business running and save it from losses, you will have to think long term and bring in long-term changes and solutions. A temporary fix can look easier to implement, but a sustainable fix is what will help your business in the long run.
The highs and lows of the business are all a part of the entrepreneurial journey. It is never a linear journey for a business owner, but that will not stop us from doing business and experimenting with different formats, and even getting out of our comfort zone.
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