With regular life all but suspended and so much uncertainty, small businesses will most definitely feel the impact. Although most of it will occur in the short term, it could well have long-term impacts, lasting far beyond the next several weeks. That means it’s time to hunker down and get serious about the situation to minimize any potential damage.
5 Ways Small Businesses can Weather Uncertain Economic Times
The very first thing to do is to review all expenses. Not just some or the top, but everything. You’ll likely be reminded of at least one that’s either unnecessary or simply too costly to maintain in its current status.
In an uncertain economy when every penny counts, even the smallest increase in revenue or reduction in expenses can have an impact on company profitability. The good news is a large-scale company overhaul isn’t necessary. It’s often simple, common sense steps that improve the bottom line, especially for a small business. Q1, 2020 is a good time to step back and look carefully at your business practices. —American Express
Then, it’s time to start to reduce discretionary spending. Here again, don’t just settle for around the margins. Instead, think about where you can cut when it comes to discretionary spending. You’ll probably be surprised by how much you’re wasting and don’t even realize it.
More Ways of Dealing with an Economic Downturn
Of course, those two things won’t do it alone. While reviewing expenses and cutting down on discretionary spending will most certainly help out, you’ll probably be able to do more — a lot more. For instance, you can do the following:
- Buy more carefully. This is different from discretionary because these entail essentials. Although these things are necessities to run your business, you can probably get away with buying a little less. Doing so across a few or several items will have a cumulative savings effect that will make a real difference.
- Cut down on extras. Overtime, perks, even benefits are all part of this particular category. (You should be doing this periodically, about once to twice per year, anyway.) Again, you’ll likely be a bit shocked by how much these items are costing you, especially when added-up together.
- Consider cutting pay. This doesn’t just apply to your employees, but you as the owner, as well. Yes, you. It might be necessary to reduce team member hours, and even take a temporary pay cut yourself. This will not only help you weather the storm, but also, it shows real leadership. Moreover, it sends a clear message that you are part of the solution, rather than part of the larger problem.
- Innovate. Huddle up with your key employees and leaders and challenge everyone with to come up with 2 or 3 innovative strategies to create or capture new revenue sources that you are currently not generating. Many successful businesses have found way to survive and in some cases developed entirely new services and products that resulted from innovating during difficult times. Necessity is the mother of invention. Plato.
What other measures would you suggest? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!
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