For small business owners who are seeing their sales and profits plummeting, the future might look bleak. What can you do to survive through stormy economic times?
Keeping a small business afloat in difficult times is often challenging. However, since many small businesses also come with very passionate owners, some simple attention to detail can help ensure that business sails right on through to calmer and more prosperous economic times.
Unfortunately, there is no set playbook to follow to “right the ship.” Every small business is different, and each carries unique risks and rewards. These differences make copying another company’s turnaround strategy to the letter unrealistic.
Still, there are some general strategies business owners can follow to help stop taking on water and start bailing themselves out.
- Keeping a small business afloat in challenging times can be difficult, but extra attention to detail can help ensure that a business survives.
- Because every small business is different, and each carries unique risks and rewards, there is no set playbook to follow to “right the ship.”
- Some useful advice that applies across small businesses includes: looking at the big picture, inventorying the staff, making sure the business has ready access to cash, sweating the small stuff, and avoiding sacrifice of quality.
Understanding 5 Ways to Keep Your Business Going in Hard Times
1. Look at the Big Picture
People have a tendency to attack the most obvious problems with vigor and without hesitation. That’s understandable, and perhaps the approach makes good business sense in some situations. However, it is also advisable to look at the “big picture” to make a positive and lasting change.
2. Take an Inventory of the Staff
Payroll is often one of the top costs a small business owner has, so making sure the money is well spent makes sense. This may involve a thorough review of the staff—both when a problem arises, as well as during the normal course of business—to make sure the right people are on-board and doing their jobs effectively.
3. Ensure the Business Has Access to Cash
Small business owners should take steps to ensure that the company has access to cash, particularly in periods of crisis. Visiting a bank loan officer and understanding what’s required to obtain a loan is a good first step, as is opening a line of credit in advance to fund possible short-term cash flow problems.
4. Start Sweating the Small Stuff
Although it is important to keep an eye on the big picture, a small business owner should not overlook smaller things that may have an adverse impact on the business.
5. Don’t Sacrifice Quality
If the problem is an issue with product quality, then it makes sense to attack it head-on. It also makes sense to stay on the offensive and get employees on board with changes that are being made. However, owners should be cognizant of not sacrificing quality when making these product changes.