Yes…we are navigating some strange waters here, we are off kilter. In Trinidad and Tobago and other parts of the world it is not business as usual. An economic downturn can spell disaster for a small business or any size firm for that matter. Consumers hold back on spending and you are called to do the same.
How do we weather the storm and still share some sunshine?
Here are some tips to apply in your business.
REDUCE or SLOW DOWN CASH OUTFLOWS
1. Shop around for cheaper utilities such as internet and check utility providers for specials or promotions.
2.Cut back on discretionary spending, evaluate your critical business needs.
3. Lease, rent or buy used items. You can even re purpose existing items you have at home in your business, at least temporarily.
4. Ask for longer pay back periods from your creditors. If, you have been a good purchaser, you can use that goodwill to your advantage.
INCREASE CASH INFLOWS
1. Collect receivables on time.
2. Maintain your existing customers by maintaining quality in your processes. ‘Double down’ on your best customers, extend promotions directly to them. They will help keep you afloat.
3. Evaluate new markets, like e-commerce or increasing exports.
POSITION YOUR BUSINESS
1. Lower inventory costs. Instead of 100 items take 50.
2. Revamp your marketing strategies, there will still be consumers spending during a downturn. Answer this question, are you reaching them with your present campaigns?
3. Leapfrog over your competitors. Conduct competitor analysis to assess their market position, strengths and weaknesses, so you can identify opportunities and threats.
Lastly…and this is critical..GET YOUR TEAM TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
1. Reward and recognise good performance on time, every time.
2. Reduce hours through compensatory time off.
3. Cut your own salary.
4. Cut unproductive team members, discuss shortfalls and expectations with those staying on board. In cases where there are reductions keep your team motivated and encouraged and continue to thank them for sticking with you.
It’s all about continuing to see a dream flourish…you’ve got to survive..