Safeguard Your Business Against Economic Uncertainty
Seven ways to help your small business stay stable regardless of what happens in the economy around it
Tough economic times don’t necessarily need to spell disaster for businesses. Whilst the UK government is beginning to implement positive steps to support small UK businesses, there are a number of ways in which those businesses can adapt their practises to maintain stability in a slower economy.
1. Protect Your Credit
Continuing to pay bills on time is essential. If your business is encountering issues with cashflow, consider whether you would feel comfortable approaching the company or bank that you owe money to, to explain why and see if you can come to some arrangement.
To a small business, losing credit rating can be extremely damaging; if you lose it, you risk being unable to secure a loan in future when you really need one.
2. Show Your Appreciation
Your employees are aware of the tough economic conditions, so will be aware that it may not be feasible to expect a pay rise. To keep employees motivated, you should consider implementing a reward scheme or investing some money into research and development that will be of benefit to both the employee and company.
3. Maintain Good Service
Never let customer service slip. 71 per cent of consumers would leave a company due to poor customer service, with 61 per cent leaving to go to a direct competitor.
As a smaller company, you have an advantage over any larger competitors because you are better positioned to provide consistent, personal service with flexibility.
Keeping communication lines open between you and your customers will also help you to understand how the economy is affecting them, and how your company can refine its service to suit.
4. Look Out for Cuts
To work out the less obvious ways that spending can be cut, involve employees. Because they are so familiar with how the business operates day to day, they may be better placed to identify where the business can cut down on certain expenses, or where processes can be made more efficient.
5. Keep on Top of the Industry
Identifying a reputable industry publication or news website will enable you to stay informed and better understand in which direction your business needs to navigate.
Keeping up to date with competitors will also provide valuable insights about where to develop business. If the competition seems to be thriving, figure out why. Likewise, if they’re not doing well, it’s good to know why that is too, enabling you to concentrate your efforts into avoiding the same pitfalls.
6. Get an Online Presence
Maximising your online presence is a really effective way of reaching out to customers, researching the market, and understanding what the competition is doing. An impactful, informative website that is easy to navigate and provides clear contact details can make all the difference to incoming enquiries.
When the economic downturn struck Britain in 2008, banks immediately tightened their lending policies and almost overnight, many SMEs found themselves unable to secure loans.
This is where business savings become essential. To be able to keep up with good service and continue to implement effective marketing practises, having savings to draw on in tough times can be the difference between a business that weathers the storm and one that doesn’t.
In the current economic climate, securing a strong financial footing is a top priority for any business owner. Taking care to ensure these seven factors are taken into consideration will go some way towards paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future.