8 Steps To Crisis-proof Your Startup Business To Overcome Hard Times
COVID 19 has created challenging times for most businesses in almost every sector. The unforeseen impacts of COVID-19 have taken an emotional and financial toll on employees and businesses alike.
The worst-hit businesses have had to close down. Others have had to retrench staff in large amounts as well as cut expenditure. Nearly everyone has been affected in one way or another. There are some strategies that you can take in order to minimize the impact of these hard times on your business.
A lot of industries are susceptible to damage if the owners are not tuned in to how well the business should be doing. This makes it important to take steps to limit the damage to your business in the event of a potential crisis.
Here are some things that you can do to give your business a fighting chance during hard times.
Try to hire freelancers where possible
The fourth industrial revolution has revolutionized the job market. Working from home is now a norm and some opt to become professional freelancers instead of working a regular 9-5 job.
Need a task such as designing or email management done? Instead of hiring a full-time professional, you can opt to hire a freelancer.
Platforms such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com have become popular platforms to hire freelancers.
Hiring a freelancer allows you to save on costs, office space, and the potential stresses that come with hiring a full-time professional.
Before you hire a freelancer, it is important to ensure that they have a good reputation.
Look for all the ways you can reduce expenditure costs
If you want to be successful in business, it is important to pay attention to detail. You must monitor your expenditure and profits on a weekly basis.
If a business is performing poorly, look to reduce your investment in it.
Try to reduce hires and opt for freelancers to perform tasks that do not require a full-time professional.
If an employee is trusted and a hard-worker, explore the possibility of allowing them to work from home. This will reduce your office expenditure and also free up space.
Build your cash reserves
Almost every successful businessperson builds cash reserves. It is important to have a plan if things go wrong.
Shocks do happen in business, even to the best and most successful companies.
One way to build reserves is to conserve a small percentage of your business profits every month. This cash should only be used if it is absolutely necessary to do so.
Cash reserves could allow the business to navigate through unforeseen circumstances and survive in the face of adversity.
For instance, companies which have become liquidated as a result of the pandemic likely did not have a solid supply of cash reserves.
Improve cash flow
During difficult times, it is key to get your customers to pay on time. If payment deadlines are not regularly met, you should consider offering discounts or bonuses.
Incentives are one of the best ways to get customers to pay on time.
All businesses are unique. It is important for the owners and key decision-makers to regularly think of methods that can improve the cash flow to the business.
If you have a large number of defaults on payment, it is a sign that you need to reapproach the way that you conduct business. You may need to think of ways that will encourage your customer base to pay on time.
Find ways to stay relevant
Facebook has out-competed its previous competitors such as Google Plus and MySpace. In the mid-2000s, MySpace had a larger user base than Facebook.
Why did Facebook succeed and MySpace dwindle?
Facebook has regularly found ways to reinvent itself to appeal to a modern audience. The website is virtually unrecognizable today as compared to what it was when it launched in 2004.
Take for example a fitness business owner who wants to take their business and education to the next level and stay relevant. They might choose to further their fitness education by enrolling in strength and conditioning courses on top of the normal personal trainer certification.
To become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), they must take the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association exam). Revising NSCA CSCS practice questions is important in this case and will likely improve the chances of passing the exam.
Not going through NSCA CSCS practice questions would be a bad idea and a potential recipe for failure. Revision and practice exams can potentially boost your eventual test score massively.
Due to the fourth industrial revolution, business trends and appeal is constantly changing. As a business owner or decision-maker, you must regularly think of ways to make your business more appealing to the modern audience.
Analyze what the most successful businesses in your niche do
Not everybody is capable of becoming a millionaire in the same way that not everyone is capable of becoming a star soccer player.
However, a way to instantly improve yourself in any field of interest is to analyze what the best in your niche do.
If you are an amateur soccer player, you can almost instantly improve your output by studying and implementing the habits of Cristiano Ronaldo into your own life.
Similarly, if you are in business, analyze the habits and practices of the top-achievers in your industry. If possible, try to better it.
Creative marketing techniques
Especially today, creative marketing techniques are essential to business success. Instead of old-fashioned means of advertising, you can promote your business by giving big discounts or freebies for a short period of time.
You should also explore the possibility of using social media as a source of advertising rather than advertising in traditional media.
You can also provide customers with incentives to decorate their cars with your business branding or provide benefits to them if they successfully refer a new client to your business.
There is no need to splash the cash on all items for your business. It is possible to get good second-hand equipment such as cars, furniture, and computers.
You don’t need to buy a photocopy machine when you can just lease one from a print company. Where possible, also look at buying instead of leasing.
Set up a WhatsApp line for your business. This will make communication with customers easier and also reduce your telephone expenditure.