In addition to looking after yourself and your family, Many Rivers wants to help you protect your business in these uncertain times.
Our Top 10 Tips for protecting your business in uncertain times are below. We will be adding more information on the actions you can take over coming days so please keep visiting our site.
Around the country, Many Rivers has 38 local business coaches who are ready to work with you on your business.
We are here to help.
Minimise your expenses and only spend money when you have to. Ask yourself the question, what’s your new breakeven*, or how low can you go to ensure you’re still profitable? Your business is always going to have expenses and the harder times get, the harder it can be to keep the cash flowing in. Start by reviewing your income, expenses and bank statements, what costs can you control or eliminate? You can click here for more expert tips on how to protect your cash-flow.
*Breakeven: the point at which cost and income are equal and there is neither profit nor loss.
Communicate what’s happening with your business, and listen to what’s happening to theirs. Let them know that you’re open, or any changes you might be making. Pick up the phone and build on your relationship with your customers and ask them what you might be able to do differently so they can continue to use your services. Continue to talk with your customers who may not be able to spend with you now, but will be able to in the future. Read our extended blog post with tips on ways to contact your customers here.
Could you introduce something new and do something different? Can you do more of a particular service or product in this new environment, or could you introduce a new product or service entirely? Get creative and communicate how your business can run remotely or within the correct social distancing measures. Can you offer delivery, online payments or remote services so that you are using your skills in a new way? We have shared a number of questions you could ask about your business and practical suggestions for different industries to try something new here.
Be empathetic and flexible, and don’t avoid this task. Have hard conversations early. Don’t assume your customers are having a hard time as well and don’t let your payment terms extend out too far. Be polite and clear, follow up on what you are owed, remind them of the credit terms. Make sure any invoices you send out include payment terms. We’ve included some tips and templates to follow up outstanding payments here.
Check your bank statements and cut back on non-essentials. Make sure you pay yourself so you can look after your personal expenses. You and your family’s well being is the top priority; look at all of your costs and what you might be able to cut back on temporarily. Access the financial help that’s being made available through Government support packages. For more tips on looking after your personal finances, click here.
Connect with both your personal and professional community to see how you can support each other. Know that someone else might have the knowledge you need, you just have to ask. Brainstorm ideas with others, and communicate if you’re feeling that times are tough. Build, maintain and share within your network – avoid the impact of any isolation by phoning, emailing or connecting with other people on social media. For more ideas on how to connect with your network, click here.
Remember you started this business using your strengths and your strengths are still there. Go back to your business plan and remind yourself why you started your business. Complete a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to remind yourself what you are great at, what’s changed and where you might need help. We’ve put together four steps to follow to focus on your strengths, click here to read.
See what can be done to reduce inventory costs without sacrificing the quality of goods or inconveniencing customers. Are you ordering too many of particular items? Can an item be sourced somewhere else at a better price? Which four products represent 80% of your business’s revenue? Focus on the stock that you know will sell. Read our extended blog post with tips on ways to manage your stock and inventory here.
Keep marketing, but keep it simple. Make sure your name is out there knowing you may have to look at more cost effective ways. Don’t invest in a marketing campaign if your budget doesn’t allow for it – and make sure customers know what’s happening with your business. Even if your business does need to make significant changes, you can still communicate why your customers are “yours” in the first place.
Share images, stories and your products – help customers find your products and services as they might choose you over another service so you need to keep promoting your business. Look at what marketing activities have got the best results in the past, and see if this might work again.
We have published the best sites to visit to find out what support is available. In addition please contact your local Many Rivers business coach to discuss what support you could access.
The Many Rivers team is here to help. If you are an existing client please reach out to your local Many Rivers business coach so they can discuss these 10 areas and how they can support your business.
For new clients, Many Rivers is here to help people start small businesses and grow existing businesses and we are here to support you the whole way. Please take the Small Business Self Assessment and see if we are right for you.
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