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How To Rescue Your Business From The Brink Of Closure
Business closures are at record highs in 2020, which is a concern when we think to the age-old state that the vast majority of businesses do not make it in their first five years even in the best of times. Running a small business is a tough enough task, trying to balance the books, ensure invoices are paid, make sure customers are happy and paying your staff and salaries and doesn't have much room for disruption.
While this pandemic is unlike any other crisis we've ever faced, most small business owners are relatively resilient. So, if you're in the position of holding or folding, you may still be able to turn it around. The key to getting through this is to take fast and decisive action. With that in mind, here is the best advice to save your small business from closing down.
Control what you can
This is probably an essential task for any business, whether you're going through a crisis or not. But now more than ever before, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that you make informed decisions about everything within your control. The flipside of this is that you need to discipline yourself to ignore absolutely everything that you can't control.
For example, you can't control how many customers you have, but you can control the service you provide them. You can't control the economy, but you can manage your pricing structure. It's difficult at times, but the bottom line is that nothing good will come from stressing or obsessing about things you have no power over.
Reduce your overheads
Your day to day operations can collect a lot of excess and unnecessary costs over time if left unchecked, so it's always a good idea to thoroughly examine your expenses to find ways to save money. Get in touch with all of your suppliers to discuss temporarily extending payment terms or asking for a reduced percentage of trade rates.
Even if you have a long-term lease, you should also try to renegotiate a lower rate with your landlord, especially if there's been an increase in empty tenancies in your area. Only by opening your books to your landlord, you'll be able to show them that your business is unlikely to survive in the long term without a reduction in overheads. That alone may be enough for them to decide that less rent each month is far better than no rent at all.
Downsize to survive
No owner wants to downsize their business, but it may be your best chance for riding it out and surviving the effects of COVID-19, especially if you've exhausted the other most viable options for survival.
If the costs of labour are one of your major expenses, you may be able to furlough some of your higher-cost employees while outsourcing work to subcontractors or temporary staff. Otherwise, you can decrease your overheads by restructuring your business, closing any secondary locations, or at worst even temporarily close your entire business until things start returning to normal.
Pivot your core business
The businesses most likely to survive this will be those that have found opportunities to leverage the pandemic by pivoting and successfully changing their entire strategy to suit. There are a lot of companies out there that have made headlines for the tremendous dexterity and flexibility they've shown finding new ways to modify their services and products in a pinch.
This is why it's crucial to look at your traditional business model as objectively as possible while asking if it will still be viable post-pandemic and adjust accordingly. Some businesses may be able to leverage their existing assets while moving to an e-commerce-based model, whereas others will define their pivot strategy by identifying which aspect of their business will continue making the most profit and concentrating their focus solely on that.
Prioritise your best customers
When your business is struggling financially, you should prioritize your best customers to help improve your cash-flow. By focusing on increasing your workload for the most reliable demographic of your existing clients and repeat shoppers, it allows you to increase your earnings while reducing your spending on sales and other marketing investments.
In this way, you can utilize any downtime by finding ways to connect with your existing customer base, whether in the real world, on social media, or by mailing lists. This will allow you to develop stronger ties with your core demographic so that you'll bounce back bigger and stronger than ever.
Once the smoke clears and the dust settles after the coronavirus pandemic, those small businesses still left standing are going to be the ones that found ways to beat the odds by rising to the challenge. And the fact that you're reading this article places you ahead of the pack, because not only do you want to survive, you're actively searching for ways to make it through. See you on the other side.
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Are you looking to promote your business?
South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on marketing during the pandemic.
- A Quick Guide To Content Repurposing
- Creating Content in Times of Pandemic
- Trends In Covid-19 Affected Organic Search Results
- Content Marketing Strategies For A Post-COVID Future
- Your SMEs Survival Guide To Overcome The Impacts of COVID-19
- What Does The Post COVID Consumer Look Like?