In times of recession, and that is what we have to assume will now be the fallout from this period of time, some companies get stronger, not weaker, and some people see opportunity and not impending disaster. Which one are you?
First off, look at your cost base and work out what you can do without. Treat it like a spring clean or a brutal look at an out of date wardrobe. There is no room for sentiment and though we all love the loyalty tag, that will cost you money you don’t / won’t have.
Always remember that companies don’t go bust because revenue has dropped, they disappear because they have no cash. If you are owed money, get it in, if you are spending money of things you can do without, then cut it and quickly. If you have key suppliers who will help you with extending payment terms, then arrange it and take it. Get cash in your account and keep it there!
Work out who you owe money to and understand the ones that could kill your business if they don’t get paid. HMRC is a good example.
Business will still happen, people and companies will still be spending money, albeit maybe less often and maybe your prices will get squeezed by panicking competitors? This is where your service levels come into their own. Be the best in class when it comes to customer service, and if you already have a top-quality service reputation, make sure people know that and remind your customers often. They will have opportunities for a lower price, at least give them something else to think about before they take a cheaper deal.
Use the FREE lines of communication that are available to you. Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube are there to be used and can be incredibly effective. If you have a marketing team / provider, what are they doing about it? If you don’t know how to maximise these platforms for your business, then learn and quick. You Tube and Google are free and can teach you pretty much anything.
Hard work. Maybe you have seen a successful few years and taken your foot of the gas a little. Be prepared to go back to work like it’s the beginning again. The positive aspect of this is, you know the potential pitfalls and you have clients already. Stick your head back over the parapet and get involved.
There is no one in your business as passionate as you, the owner! Never forget that. If you can’t pay someone, they will find another job. If you can’t pay yourself, you are stuck.
Going into tough times calls for resilience, self-confidence, the ability to make tough decisions for the immediate and long-term future of your business and a single-minded focus to work and trade your way through the choppy waters.
This list of to-dos’ is not exhaustive, every business is different, but don’t ignore the facts right in front of you and deal with them…NOW before it deals with you!
Oh, and one more thing, and this is really important. If your business gets into really difficult times and you simply don’t see a way out, DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE. There are people who can help you, find them. Taking on the worry and stress of a failing business is one sure fire way to destroy your mental health, and then you are no good to anyone.