How to keep your business afloat during difficult times

How to keep your business afloat during difficult times

Claire Small
Authored by Claire Small
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 4:15pm

Every business goes through a rough patch, but when that rough patch starts costing you more than your profits, you may have a problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of businesses suffering financially, with many retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and more having to close down. That doesn’t mean there isn’t hope, though, and as a business owner, it is up to you to keep your business afloat even during the more difficult times – read on to learn how. 

Assess Your Spending 

If your business is struggling financially, the first step to take is to assess exactly where all your money goes. Remember to reconsider the small things, too, as it all adds up in the end. By looking at your cash flow vs. your outgoings, you’ll have a better understanding of where your money goes and then where you can cut some losses. Remember, if you’re close to going bust, it’s time to be very selective with spending. 

Cut Back on Staff 

No employer wants to make any employee redundant, but it might be your only solution during difficult times. For small businesses, the payroll is often one of the largest expenses, which means cutting costs in that area could make the difference between your business going under or staying afloat. 

Of course, cutting back on staff isn’t something to jump into and should only be done when no other options are available. If your business can no longer afford all your staff, then schedule a redundancy consultation so that you have support when you need to have these difficult conversions with staff.

Be More Time Efficient 

When your business is struggling, every minute and every penny counts, so focus on being as time-efficient as possible. By working smarter, not harder, your workplace’s productivity will soar. Some of the easiest ways to master time management are to create schedules, prioritise the most important tasks, and place deadlines on projects. 

Another thing to keep in mind when managing your time is to stop letting people waste it. If you are constantly waiting on a client, an always-late employee, or a badly scheduled delivery service, it’s time to put your business first. This is sometimes easier said than done, and you certainly shouldn’t write off an otherwise great business relationship - you should, however, make it known that your time cannot be wasted. 

Using time registration can be a highly effective way to make your business more efficient and thus reducing costs. By tracking how employees spend their time throughout the day, you can identify areas where tasks are taking longer than they should, as well as those where they could be completed more quickly. This information can then be used to optimize work processes, streamline workflows, and ultimately improve productivity.

Focus on Online Marketing 

Marketing can drain your bank account, but it’s an essential part of business. Don’t worry, though, as you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your business’s name out there. Instead, try some simple online marketing strategies such as email marketing, social media posts, and giveaways to attract more customers. 

Adapt to the Times 

Everything evolves. No business looks the same as it did twenty years ago, and for a good reason. As a business, you must adapt to the times to ensure you keep appealing to customers. If you’re still offering a service that went out of style a few years ago, it’s time to jump into market research and offer something your customers really want. 

Don’t worry – adapting to the times doesn’t mean overhauling your entire business; it simply means altering your product and service to suit the current day. If you sell art supplies, for example, could you also start creating art eLearning courses? How about collaborating with a popular clothing brand? There are always ways to grow and adapt your business; it just takes a healthy amount of research and creativity.   

Browse Cheaper Suppliers 

If you are desperately looking for ways to reduce business expenses, you should look toward your supplier costs. Prioritising quality doesn’t necessarily mean spending sky-high prices – by looking into alternative suppliers, you could find one that matches your business’s needs while saving you money each month. A quick tip – letting your current supplier know you are shopping around might result in them offering you a discount. 

Stay Positive 

Staying positive is much easier said than done, especially when you are fighting to keep your business afloat. Doing so only helps your business, though, so focus on the positives and the accomplishments rather than the downfalls. Think about it – if you are going into work each day waiting for bad news, then your negativity will only spread, resulting in a lack of productivity and a team full of nerves.  

Remember, a bad couple of months doesn’t mean a business is doomed to fail. By riding the waves, cutting expenses, and finding new ways to grow, you increase the chances of your business coming out the other end better than ever. 

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