Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Small Business Survival During Tough Times

food truck
Every company goes through rough times now and then - it's a fact of a credit-based economy. Small business survival during tough times depends on staying focused, making informed and logical decisions and staying creative within the bounds of your business plan. Whether the issue is receding cash flow, staffing issues or a spate of bad business choices, remaining calm and patient will see you through to better times.

To succeed, review the following best practices and take the appropriate steps. An adjustment here and a change of habit there can do a world of good, as long as you focus on the future when making short terms decisions.

Be Patient

Positive change doesn't happen over night, just as negative trends in your market don't last forever. Before making any adjustments to your business strategy, ensure that they are required. Sometimes, forces beyond your control are at play and will soon pass. Be calm and collected in order to analyze the situation before taking steps to correct it.

Speak with employees, advisors and peers in the community to gain a larger picture of the situation. Should you determine change is required, make them methodically and consciously. Know how they will effect your business not only in the present, but in the future. Don't make decisions that will come back to haunt you such as selling vital infrastructure or reducing hiring requirements.

Strive For New Business

All solid business plans call for the regular acquisition of new clients, but in tough times small business survival often means generating new revenue on a stepped-up scale. Look to professional networking opportunities, referrals and old-fashioned foot work to revitalize your bottom line. Tough times means getting out there and making things happen- don't sit back with crossed fingers hoping luck will save your company. Small business survival means going out and doing the work.
Look to these types of organizations for much needed connections:
  • Local Chamber of Commerce- Hosts various events to showcase local businesses and often sponsors networking events to support local member businesses.
  • BNI - Business Networking International is a large, formalized and international membership group driven to help it's members succeed.
  • Meetup.com- An online social networking platform designed to bring group meetings together based on common threads.
  • Google it- Quite simply, a Google search for networking events in your area could turn up a hundred or more gatherings, sponsored by a wide variety of players in your community. Everything from industry-specific meetings to affiliation events are at your fingertips with only a few strokes of the keyboard.
  • One on One Meetings- What's stopping you from networking on a small scale with those in your business park, office or town? 
Remember- with networking, commonalities are what make connections.

Social Media & Small Business Survival

social media
Staying relevant in your sector means staying relevant with your customers. Though they may not require your services daily or even monthly, keeping your brand in front of them is critical. Revisit your social media strategy to continue to provide quality information and opportunities for your customers. Don't slack off. If the concept is new to your small business, consider having a reliable social media guide on hand to assist.

Social media posts should be a mix of 1/3 sales pitch, 1/3 niche news and 1/3 pertinent content such as videos and articles- share news articles your clients would find useful or entertaining. Post updates on your products. Sponsor contests. Engage with your feedback and take steps to adjust as your clients needs change. Stay on top of what your demographic needs and you will foster an audience that is receptive to direct marketing- coupons, sales alerts and promotions. Give your clients a reason to follow you.

Use LinkedIn to write original blog articles about your industry and share relevant posts with your audience. There is a caveat, however- LinkedIn isn't a place to advertise directly for business. Instead, it's a place where your expertise is on view. If you are providing value to an audience on LinkedIn, you will see business resulting from your activity.

As a general rule, keep your social media pages and your website up to date. A weekly review of what information you have available would be a chance to provide the latest news or events to attract customers. Your accounts are living netizens in a sense. Make sure they act like it.

Outside the Small Business Box Thinking


big fish little pond
Look to the micro-economy for ways to incorporate sales volume into your business. No two businesses are alike, and reaching out to those in your niche to cross promote products and services can help breath new life into your business plan.

Keep an eye out for businesses that aren't in direct competition with you and schedule a meeting. Be straight forward and keep mutual benefits in mind- these connections have customers who need the services and goods you provide, while existing customers may benefit from your new relationships.

It's time to work hard and keep an eye on the future. For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, contact us at Spotlight Publicity.