Weathering tough times in business

The last few months have been difficult for many businesses. We have witnessed big companies take drastic cost-cutting measures while some small businesses have either closed shop or are struggling to stay afloat. Wondering how your business can weather the tough financial times?

Seek advice from an expert: Sometimes it’s hard to keep a business afloat when it is not doing well. You might have tried all the tricks in the books to no avail. But have you tried seeking advice from an expert? If not, then this may be your last resort and the saving grace that your business badly needs. A business expert will be able to guide you on the best practices to help you survive the tough times.

Be ready to reinvent yourself: Business is seasonal and sometimes you may need to reinvent your business model in order to fit the market. Always seek ways to modify your product to ensure you are abreast with the trends. This calls for flexibility to enable you accommodate changes that need to be made. On the same token, be very cautious when making decisions; always weigh the decision you are making as one bad move may see you shut down.

Connect with peers: Hard times in the form of recessions or industry shakeouts impact more than just your business, as entire sectors of the market place can feel the heat. One useful survival approach is applying the wisdom of crowds. Step out of your cocoon
and get to know what is happening to colleagues in the same business as yours and the adjustments they are making to remain in business. You will definitely get an idea or two to salvage the situation.

Be ready to learn: The most important lessons in life are learnt during the darkest period. This is time for you to learn from what you are going through, as well as from articles and books written on the same. Ask yourself; what can I do proactively in this situation to really make the best out of it? Those who conquer challenges most effectively hold a firm belief that they can learn and grow while adapting to handle any situation. They shun the idea of innate talent in favour of hard work and hunger to learn.

Cut down your operating budget: You need to be extremely careful on your spending during difficult times. You must learn to prioritise and to reduce operating expenses. But do not comprise on the quality of your goods and services. For instance, you can cut your marketing budget by replacing the existing strategy with low budget strategy. Some of the decisions you will make at this stage may not be easy but you may have no other choice.
Stay calm: In times of crises, enlightened leaders help everyone make better decisions by staying calm as hysteric leadership leads to quick and often negative results. You need a clear head to enable you think through the situation at hand. Being anxious and jittery will do your business no good.

Negotiate with your suppliers: Talk with your suppliers and let them know how the market is. You probably already have a rapport with them so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to ask for more discount or more time when it comes to payment. You can reveal to them the strategies you are putting in place to ensure your business stays on its feet.

Maintain a positive attitude: You might not be able to change a bad situation, but you can determine your response to the situation. You have control over your attitude, and ultimately this can make a huge difference in how you weather a difficult situation. Stop worrying, think positively and surround yourself with people who lift you up.