2020 has been one of the hardest years for business in the last 30 years. Since the start of March many businesses have been forced to change the way they work, and sadly not all have been able to handle the heat. Today though, we want to guide you through these harsh financial times, because even when the odds seem out of your favor you still have the opportunity to save your business.
Use these simple tips and advice to help bring your business from the brink this winter and start anew in 2021 with positive prospects.
The most important thing you should do before taking any action in your business is to sit down and go through your finances. Print out your bank statements for the last few months and sit down to go through incomings and outgoings. As you go through your statements you may find expenditures you can do without - and this will allow you to get a real idea of where you are financially now, and where you need to make some changes.
Once you know where you are with your finances it is time to create a solid budget that you can stick to. Consider everything you need to run your business and nothing more, get rid of the frills and ensure you are only spending money you HAVE to spend.
Bankruptcy is a scary word, but with experts such as the small business bankruptcy lawyers at Leinart Law Firm to offer advice, you’ll see that bankruptcy isn’t necessarily the end for your business venture. Declaring bankruptcy simply means to write off your debts and consolidate them in order to start becoming debt free. It does not mean you have to end your business altogether, it will simply change the financial approach you take in the future. Consider this form of debt consolidation and it might actually save your skin.
One simple ways to save money when you are hitting some financial problems is by streamlining the products and services that you provide. For example if before you were creating and selling 10 products - maybe streamline this down to your top 5 sellers until you are able to get back on your feet and pay for manufacturing. By streamlining your business in this way you will likely be able to make a steadier, if not smaller, until you are ready to jump in gung-ho once again.
Supplies for your business such as materials for products and services can be a huge outlay - and this is something you might need to reassess when you are in trouble. Consider where you could buy supplies from where you can buy in bulk and save some serious money for your business in the long term. And as difficult and it sounds, you may need to consider putting the prices up for your products to help you recoup some of your lost income.
One of the other ways to save some money and hopefully keep you on a level playing field with your business is to consider manufacturing elsewhere. If you are currently manufacturing your product close to your offices, it is worth checking prices overseas. It is a good idea for you to consider overseas manufacturing in places such as China which is much cheaper to produce products than on home turf.
One of the most challenging things to do when you are a business owner is choose a shipping provider. It is important to choose a good shipping provider for your products because they will be the ones responsible for transporting goods without damaging it as well as in a timely manner. Consider though when struggling financially to haggle a little. Get some quotes from different providers in your area and put them against each other for your business. Negotiating for your shipping is a very important thing to do and it will not only save you money but will ensure that you gain some key skills.
If you can do it yourself - do it. We all know how hard it can be to run a business and there are many elements to balance. To manage a successful business you need to have a finger in many pies, and the more you understand about the business process the more successful you can be. To overcome harsh financial times, consider doing some tasks yourself for a period again as well as things such as cleaning your office yourself instead of paying for it.
When it comes to hiring a team for your business - there are a lot of things to consider. Of course, you want to be able to hire the best people for the job and this is important for the success of your venture, but also consider expenses. A full time employee not only requires a full wage, but benefits such as a retirement fund and healthcare as well as perks. If you choose instead to outsource for roles like bookkeeping and marketing you will save a lot of money and will be able to use the spare money to stay afloat.
One of the best things you can do this year if you are encountering harsh financial times with your business finances is ditch the office completely. An office seems like an essential asset for any business but with the rise of the digital age it is not as important as it once was. And with 2020 showing us that a lot of companies are perfectly able to function from home - do you really need to go back to office life? Consider ditching the expensive rent completely and instead working remotely.
A huge expense for any company is the marketing. From email campaigns to Google AdWords - there are a lot of expensive ways to market your business and boost its growth. It is important though to take advantage of free ways to market your business too. Email marketing for example doesn’t have to cost money if you create newsletters yourself using a tool such as Canva. Social media marketing is a free tool which only costs money if you decide to boost your content. There are plenty of ways to market your company this winter without spending your budget, and by doing this you can stay popular with your audience and build a brand based on merit.
Following on from the point above - one very important thing to consider as a business owner is your content. Articles on your blog and images on Instagram can be brilliant for drawing people in, however, video content is so much more powerful and you can do it cheaply. Creating video content for your social media sites is a great way to pull attention in and you can create some unique content relating to your brand. For example if you sell food - you could share recipe videos and kitchen hacks which will likely go viral and draw a lot of attention to you. Consider what other brands around you have done and see what you can do to stand out from the crowd with video content.
Branding is a key thing for any business owner, and when you come up with financial troubles in harsh financial times it might be worth a rebrand. Often rebranding is a powerful tool to kickstart your image once more and gain renewed interest in your business and can be a great exercise for you. As you will know, from the moment you launch your business and brand - it evolves. Over time your brand will change and grow and you do and eventually your business will reach a point where the brand doesn’t suit it any longer. At that point it is important to consider rebranding with something that fits closer to who you are. This might be the main problem with your business and once fixed, it could see you gain more success.
It is important when you start your business that you start to make some connections with people in the world. One of the things which you should do when you start hitting financial trouble is ask for help. Asking for help is something that is not to be ashamed of and you should do this when in trouble. Don’t be scared to connect with others and ask for investment or advice. Reaching out or getting a different perspective on your business could be a helpful way to gain traction.
Scrimp on supplies
Supplies are not just for your products but also for yourself and your staff. If you start hitting financial issues, consider cutting down on things such as paper, stationery, and software. If you have subscriptions for tools you never use - don’t keep them! Save money by scrimping wherever you can and it will make a massive difference to you in the long run.
Use these tips to help you get back on your feet after the harsh financial times this year.