The overall business sentiments have taken a beating in the country owing to the falling rupee, rising prices, increased competition, clients taking a wait and watch policy. With all of these hurting bigger companies too, smaller companies have been no exception. And so we ask, ‘How do small businesses beat tough times?”.
They may not have the money power or the power of the resource, thereby making it really tight for them to stay afloat during the crisis. We look at a few ways a small business can beat the pressures in a tough business environment:
Cut The Flab: This should be your first target. Identify and cut down on all unnecessary costs.
• Take a hard look at your stationery expenses, rentals, telephone, and internet bills, and see what can be reduced. Reduce your print volume so that you can save both on paper and cartridge.
• Move to Skype to decrease your phone bills.
• Maintain your computer systems, machinery well so that repair costs are minimum, and replacements are few.
• In case you have more staff on board that the volume of work, you will then have to take the unpleasant decision of layoffs. Do it as the last resort, and do it in a professional manner so that there is no unpleasantness in the aftermath. It is a small world and an even smaller industry, and you may bounce into each other sooner or later. Keeping it amicable and professional will give you and your business that much goodwill.
Make Sure You Are Getting Paid On Time:
With cash coming in as and when it is due, business operations are easier to handle. Scrutinize your debtor’s account and take all steps necessary to ensure timely payments. Further, put a credit policy in place so that it helps you with setting the right expectation with your clients. Here is a very good blog on Putting a Credit Policy in Place. Similarly, make your payments on time so that you do not have to pay any penalties for default or interest on outstanding balances.
Go Digital: Digital marketing has picked up in a big way in recent times. With more and more people spending an awful lot of time on social media platforms, it makes sense to be digitally present with your business. Further, marketing costs are low in this arena, and the reach is substantial. Hence, get on to the digital bandwagon and expose your business to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, InfoGraphics, Blogs etc
It goes without saying that the right attitude will see you past difficult times. It is now that you have to show your grit and determination to carry on no matter the hindrances. Further, the ties you build with your staff and the relationships you forge with your clients and vendors during this time will last you in good stead in the entire course of your entrepreneurial journey.