Rocky days in business are inevitable and they come in different ways. It could be a lack of funds or a client who refuses to pay, but worse off, is when a global pandemic hits and the lifeline of the business is threatened. When the government announces closure of businesses to save humanity from a pandemic then it becomes worrisome, especially for small businesses.
Even with tough times looming, the good news is that, they don’t last and how you come out of these times has everything to do with your preparedness. Recession-proofing your business and cushioning it from bad times require some of the best practices to push you through the bumpy times. Here are a few ways on how you can plan for your business during difficult times.
Be thrifty with money
Many times, entrepreneurs overspend when there is money in the business but difficult times prove that you don’t have to spend all the cash you lay your hands on. You need to weigh your options and understand that if the money you are about to spend is not going to bring a return into the business then you don’t have to spend it. Look out for the loopholes in your finances and keep them in check until things get better. Even when things get better, financial discipline is an art that every business owner needs to learn.
Stay on the edge of competition
Just because the tides are rough does not mean you should give up and stop working towards achieving your business goals. Ensure you stay on the edge of competition even during such times. Market your business more, review your prices vis-à-vis the prices of your competitors; you want to be sure that you provide value for money amidst stiff competition. Keep your eyes open for any other business entering the market with the same product or service as your business and find ways of staying on top of your game without being thrown out by new entities.
Don’t compromise quality
Difficult times may prompt business owners to look into the quality of products/services they offer. This is advisable yes, but only if you are improving on the already existing quality. Bumpy seasons do not equate to compromising on the quality, if anything, this is the best time to improve on it. Making dramatic changes to the product can be detrimental to the business even way after the tough times are over. Ensure a product change does not affect the quality as it may backfire when clients become dissatisfied with the new change.
Seek advice from people who have been through the same
The beauty of tough times in business is that everyone goes through them at some point and the only way to stay afloat when such times knock at your door, is to find inspiration from people who have been through the same. Find people who have braved the same tides and reach out for help. Be honest and open with them and tell them where the problem is, and listen to their insight; it might be helpful. You can also learn from their story and/or mistakes they made and use that information to overcome the storm your business is facing.
Don’t forget to market your products
A business could be having the best product in the market but without advertising, your potential clients will never know about it. Even when tough times roll through, clients still need to know about your products, therefore, when cutting down on certain things during a hard time, marketing should not be one of them. Marketing is vital and without it, the presence and visibility of your business can dwindle further.
Invest in yourself and the business
Crazy as it may sound tough times should open your eyes to a whole load of opportunities that may be waiting for you on the other side when you pull through. Take this time to learn new skills and more knowledge about your business through reading books, and online coaching. The cash flow might be tight, but this is the best time to have a fractional cfo to help with strategic planning of your business. This is also the time to work on all the things you have been keeping aside because of lack of time.
Lastly, be ready for any impact while in business. Most businesses have taken a nosedive at some point, but that did not mark their end. Always expect the unexpected, this way when it hits, you shall have prepared yourself psychologically for any eventuality. You could have a money reserve to help you through the tough times. The money reserved acts as a safety blanket to cushion you during the rough times and keep you afloat until you wade through and are able to stand on your feet again.