Being a small business owner is a huge responsibility, and depending on the nature of your enterprise, it can become incredibly stressful during an economic downturn. The impact of government-imposed lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has posed numerous challenges for entrepreneurs. Even though each business is different and carries its own risks, with some able to weather the storm better than others, there are still certain business strategies that can be pursued to help keep small businesses afloat during tough times. If you are a small business owner, here are some strategies that can help your venture survive this period:
Keep the Bigger Picture In Mind
During tough times, it’s easy for business owners to panic and make rash decisions in order to keep the business going. While some of these decisions could make good business sense, it’s always wise to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Take note of your company’s strengths and the things that may need changing. See this as an opportunity to better understand the nature of the problems your business suffers from and build a stronger business model.
Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
While it is important to keep the overall picture in mind, small business owners should not overlook the minor aspects of their operations either. These small things can quickly mount up and eventually have an adverse impact on the business in the long term. Seemingly minor issues such as ineffective advertising and lack of stock can eventually make a big impact on your business’s bottom line.
Ensure You Hire the Right People and That Your Staff Work Smart
The first cut many businesses make during a recession is to cut the cost of staff. However, this may not be wise in the long-term when you think about future recruitment and training. Good employees are hard to come by, so retaining them should be key. Reducing wages or paying staff poorly isn’t great for productivity. This is why it is important to have the foresight to hire the right people at the start and ensure they are working smart and efficiently.
Have Access to Cash
As a business owner, it is important to make sure you are in control of your finances and that your company has access to cash, especially during an economic crisis. This may involve visiting the bank for a loan, but don’t just go for the easiest option. There are lots of ways to access extra funding, some of which may be better suited to the needs of your business. For instance, ask yourself how much can I get for a title loan before doing some research into using a car as collateral on a short-term loan.
Don’t Compromise On Quality
It’s understandable that business owners keep on top of their expenses during difficult times. However, cutting corners and compromising on quality is not the way to go. While using poor quality components or rushing a project may save you some money, consumers will notice. Remember that reputation is important for a business to survive, and negative reviews can really do a lot of damage for the enterprise.
As we move into 2021, things will continue to be challenging for businesses. Those that survive the downturn are going to be the organizations that are headed with effective leaders who are able to make sensible decisions when it comes to the long term future of an enterprise.