Getting Your Business Through Tough Times
Over the last few months all focus has been on surviving the lockdown. However, as the government eases the restrictions, businesses can start to wind back up again but it will not be easy to get your business back to where it was pre-lockdown.
Here at Balance we are putting together a strategy to take our business forward and we thought that it might be useful to share a few of our thoughts with you via e mails, blogs and Facebook entries. The first of these is here and relates not only to post pandemic Britain but to any recovery from a difficult business situation:
4 Tips for Getting Your Business Through Tough Times
1. Focus on your existing customers
When businesses go through difficult times, it is natural to look to bring in new business. In this drive for new business it is easy to spend significant amounts of time and money on advertising and marketing whilst overlooking your existing customers. Yet these are often the easiest people to make additional sales to and at a fraction of the cost. You don’t need to stop marketing yourself to new customers but make sure that you give extra focus to the customers you already have to ensure that they remain loyal. Find out what their current needs are, how successful you are at meeting them and what you can do to maintain an ongoing relationship. Communicate with them and always provide exceptional customer service—then you will be in a strong position to provide them with additional products and services. Cross selling and up selling to your existing customers is so much easier than continually trying to find new ones.
2. Reach Out to Others
You probably won’t be the only person in your industry who is experiencing difficult times. Talk to other people who are/have been in similar positions to find out how they navigated those challenges. Ask them what did and did not work for them and what they learned from their experience. Some of their answers could be applicable to your situation or could at least inspire a solution. Here at Balance we have a wealth of knowledge and experience that could help so why not call us if you need help or just to provide a second opinion.
3. Examine Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan brings in new customers. Now is the time to consider fresh marketing ideas to bring in new revenue. Is there an area of your business that you haven’t promoted before but which could bring in customers. Is there a new way to market yourself that you haven’t tried?
Examine previous marketing efforts to determine how successful they were. If they haven’t been successful then stop wasting your time and money and direct your efforts towards something new.
4. Improve Your Cashflow
Assess your business’s financial health to see if there are ways to improve cashflow. Can you charge customers a deposit or encourage payment up front to increase cash flow Are there products or services that you sell that bring in revenue more quickly than others? Chase up long outstanding debtors and be more strict when giving credit. Are there ways to save money that won’t hurt your business in the long run? It can be tempting to reduce staff levels but when things are good you will need to hire again and that can be time consuming and expensive. See if you can find alternative ways to cut costs that won’t negatively affect your business—cut overtime for example, it could save money without losing staff.
Talk to your creditors—see if you can delay or spread payments. They will be going through the same difficult times as you so should be sympathetic to your situation. HMRC have already announced deferment of VAT and self assessment tax payments and they are much more flexible on payment plans than ever before.
The important thing is that you take some positive action rather than crossing your fingers and hoping that the difficulties pass.
It’s good to talk—-call us here at Balance if you want someone to listen to you!!!!!