With the coronavirus leaving few businesses unscathed it feels like we must keep moving and adapting for survival. For many of us that comes from digging in, evolving and getting smarter and scrappier when it comes to our day to day operations. Here’s where we begin.
A deep dive into your monthly expenses will show many luxuries that may have become the status quo but are certainly not essential to the survival of your business. From expensive CRMs to technology you may be underutilizing, ask yourself “what would happen if I didn’t have this?” Cutting costs is painful and will change what you and your team are used to. But shaving hundreds to thousands of dollars from your bottom line each month is critical to improving the financial health of your business.
In tough times, vendors will become pushy to get paid and the money you were counting on may not come. Cashflow can make or break your ability to stay in business. If there is one area to invest your time and creativity, it’s in ensuring you have implemented every opportunity for payment to encourage cash flow. Consider incentives for early payment. Start conversations with anyone you owe money to and see if they offer any flexibility or extensions on payment. Everyone is facing tough times and many financial institutions and landlords are supporting small businesses through extended terms.
Use this time to diversify revenue streams with the aim of having up to seven different places to earn revenue in your business. The more diversified your offerings, the lower the impact will be if a product or service dries up. From new products to new service offerings, you will need to understand where the market is going and how you can service it. One investment we continue to look at is online marketing. This ensures that as we pivot our service offering, online marketing will allow us to quickly drive sales and provide data to show the response.
If there was ever a time to show love to a client, it’s those regular, long term customers who have supported your business. Build loyalty with those who continue to stand by you and your business by offering extras. Say thank you and remind them you are also a small business that appreciates what they do for you. You can do this by offering them a special rate or additional services at no extra cost. Loyalty is an investment that pays multiples and will help protect and stabilize future income.
While times are tough, they have been tougher. What has persisted in every drop in the economy is the need for innovation, new ideas and new ways of doing things. I believe we will come through this stronger and financially better equipped than ever before.