Has your business fallen on hard times? Are sales dropping due to the Corona virus? Does your small / medium scale business risk failure?
This is very true for most businesses, even though some, of course, are benefiting from the pandemic because they sell services or manufacture products that are in high demand. But many small businesses are struggling to survive or are facing serious, ongoing declines in sales and orders that could lead to business failure.
The most important advice right now is don’t panic. Yes, that’s easier said than done. But you need to stay calm and logically consider all your options.
1. Mind your cash flow – Understand exactly what your finances are telling you. Issue invoices promptly and chase up debtors; don’t buy more stock than you need; negotiate longer credit terms with suppliers; shorter ones for customers; fill up gaps in your forward order book; and keep in touch with your bank.
2. Focus on Retaining Customers – When finances are uncertain, consumers cut their spending – so do all you can to keep your customers coming through your doors. Loyalty schemes, small discounts and regular communications can let your customers know you value them.
3. Provide Outstanding Customer Service – How else can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? By giving excellent customer service! Consumers appreciate businesses that give them more for their money, especially when times are tough. Efficient service, fast delivery and flexible payment terms will help to persuade people to spend with you rather than a competitor.
4. Collaborate with other businesses – Think outside the box. “Maybe you and another business can go in together and figure solutions to some problems. Two heads are better than one.
5. Re-invent your business to survive – As you review your business, you may see many areas that require change. The key to making change happen – and rebuilding your profits – is to list what needs to be done and estimate what effect each change will have on cash flow, sales and profits.
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