In difficult times all businesses are vulnerable to contracting or closing. Small and medium businesses are often more exposed because they have fewer cash reserves if any. This article will discuss how to stabilize in a crisis, how to become leaner and leverage the crisis as a growth opportunity.
Secure your Competitive Advantage
What do you do well? What is the biggest revenue driver? What is the most time-consuming? What is the most profitable per hour? Securing your competitive advantage is paramount to maintaining a healthy business. Without it, your likely treading water or susceptible to being eaten by a larger fish. The key idea is ensuring why you exist apart from your competitors is rock solid and provides a buoyancy so you don’t go under.
Reassess your processes & (CRM) Client Relationship Management
What processes are working well for you? Which are not?
In the middle of a crisis, and things are slow, you can streamline your business. An underappreciated aspect of being an entrepreneur is implementing processes. Set yourself up for success. What gets measured gets done. CRM is paramount in effectively running a business. Knowing your retention rate, cost of acquisition, and providing an amazing client experience gives your business staying power. Keeping all the details in memorized is like nailing Jello to the wall. Lean on technology and making things automatic as much as possible. Employ excellent processes and you will not have to remember the minutia. Remember; the dullest ink on paper is still better than the best memory.
Maximize your Cliental (and others)
If you don’t treat your old lady right, someone else will. The same goes for your clients. The cost to acquire new clients is several times greater than the cost to keep your existing ones. Repeat business grows business to self-sufficiency even in a crisis. One of your greatest resources is the network you have, and their ability to sing your praises. The greatest compliment is a referral – tell your clients. Reap what you sow. Conversely, keep your competitors on their toes. Know your competition well. See if you can replicate their strength, or service, or adjacent service which you can cheaply incorporate to your model. Drawing their clients enables you to access a growing customer base.
Winston Churchill said, “never let a crisis go to waste”. It is an opportunity to do things you could not necessarily do before. Unfortunately, as the circumstances are, never underestimate your good fortune in the ability to bear through it. Small and new businesses have a unique ability to pivot quickly because of their lean operation. Big businesses have structural strengths and larger access to capital to weather turbulence. Medium-sized businesses fall somewhere in the middle of the two. No one strategy is perfect.
At Office146 we launched a Business advisory service that is dedicated to helping our business community. Give us call for a free consultation on how we can help pivot your business, source grant, and business stimulus.