If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that if we’re still here, in business, we’re pretty bloomin’ resilient. It’s been tough times since the big P entered our lives and just when we thought we could start to get back to business as usual, the media and government start banding around the word ‘recession’. You might now be wondering how you’re expected to survive, let alone grow your business in a ‘economic crisis’.
Let’s be realistic, not every business will survive the next year. That might sound disheartening but every year businesses close and new ones open. It the circle of (business) life.
We don’t want any of you to have to close your business, unless you really want to. So, in this blog we’ll share with you some thoughts on how you can survive and grow your business during this difficult spell.
Review and improve your customer experience
Whether you run a product or service-based business, customer experience has never been more important.
We all remember the bad experiences we’ve had and it puts us off using those businesses again. We also remember the amazing experiences we’ve had. That person that was above and beyond helpful. That little free gift we got with our order.
Now is the time to look at your customer experience from start to finish and consider how you can improve it. People want to be wowed and if you’re successful, you’ll gain their loyalty – which is great for business!
Think about how else you can help your current cutomers/clients
People that already buy from or work with you, are one step ahead of the rest. Think about what else you can offer those people, who are likely to spend more with you if you make it a no brainer for them.
The first thing to consider is do your current clients/customers know all the things you offer? Maybe they signed up to work with you on their social media but don’t know you can also help them with email newsletters.
Now is the time to educate them on all the ways you can help.
Maybe there’s add on service that would make their lives easier, whilst bringing in some extra cash for you? Is there a low-cost product that would be the perfect upsell to your existing range?
Selling more to your current clients/customers is easier than bringing in new clients all the time.
Introduce new services/products
It might seem counterintuitive to introduce new products or services when things are uncertain but this is an opportunity to tap into the current mood and supply something that people need.
Maybe your current entry level service is £300 but many clients feel this is out of reach. Could you introduce a smaller, bite sized service for a lower price point, that will give clients some of what they need, at a price they can afford?
It’s ok to try things and change your mind if they don’t work out. Don’t feel you have to stick to your guns. Your business, your rules!
Streamline your processes
Now is the perfect time to streamline your processes, making things slicker and potentially saving you money. Go through all your processes from start to finish and think about every stage. Could it be quicker, easier, better, cheaper?
Part of this check should involve making sure you’re using your software and subscriptions to their maximum capability. These days there are so many software solutions which often have features that overlap.
If you’re creating invoices in Word but using Quickbooks for your bookkeeping, why aren’t you creating invoices in Quickbooks? It could save you time and the time you save could be spent doing something that will help your business to move forward and grow.
The same goes for any processes that take up your time, even if it’s only 2 minutes longer than it needs to be. Two minutes x 100 = nearly 3.5 hours. Think what you could do in 3.5 hours…lots we bet!
Maintain or increase your marketing spend
What’s the first thing lots of businesses cut when the going gets tough? The marketing budget, and here’s why that’s not always a great idea…
Remember back to the pandemic – we know, we try not to think about it either but just bear with us. Now think back to all those businesses you’d never heard of that were in your local area, asking for support, supplying incredible services and keeping you going with treats and activities.
What’s the one thing in common those businesses had? They advertised what they could do/what they needed.
Also, consider this, for every business that closes, there’s an opportunity for another business to step in and save the day for those customers and clients. Let it people know, it’s you!
Do you think McDonald’s cuts it’s marketing budget in difficult times? No, we don’t think so either. Everyone’s heard of McDonald’s, right? But they still advertise constantly. We’ll leave you with that thought.
Be smart financially
Being on top of your finances and planning for the future can play a huge role in how you are able to weather the storms that keep coming our way.
Having a clear financial forecast, cash flow reports and an action plan can all help to keep your business on track, all the time but especially when things are turbulent.
If you’d like our support to feel more knowledgeable in this area or work with us to plan and manage your business finances, we’d love to speak to you. Please get in touch by email or send us a message on our contact page.