07 August 2013

How to survive tough times

If your business is going through tough times, the key to survival is dealing with the crisis head on and working out how to move forward as a company.

Start-ups and small businesses are vulnerable to difficult economic conditions. It is sometimes impossible to avoid falling into tough times but the key to survival is dealing with the crisis head on and working out how to move forward as a company.

Here are our top five tips on making your way through challenging times:

1. Work out what you can do better

One of the key parts of getting out of difficult business situations is recognising what mistakes were made in the first place so you can learn from them. It could be that your targets were too ambitious or that you didn’t pay enough attention to a vital part of the business. It is often worth getting advice from someone outside the company who can give an objective view of where you are going on. This could include seeking financial or legal advice.

Communicate with people

Don’t let suppliers, staff and customers hear bad news about your company from elsewhere. If you are honest and straightforward about any difficulties, you are more likely to keep people’s loyalty and respect. If you are not truthful, people will not trust or believe you in the future which could be fatal for your business. While telling your employees that things are not going well will not help staff morale, it will make sure they are on board to help you implement the necessary improvements to save your business.

Act on feedback

If people are making complaints about your company or giving you negative feedback, then you know you have areas where improvements need to be made. Instead of dismissing the criticisms, take them on board and come up with an action plan on how the issues can be addressed. This will help you improve your customer service and give you ideas on how to make your business more successful.

Profits are everything

Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are in business to make money. Your key consideration should be making sure your company is profitable. Keep this simple goal in mind and don’t get lost in company politics. If necessary, cut back on what you are doing so you are just concentrating on the areas where your business is succeeding and making a profit.

Be prepared to make tough decisions

If things are going wrong, you need to face the fact that you will need to make some difficult decisions to survive. You may need to make staff redundant to reduce your business costs. You may also have to look at cutting parts  of your business which are not making money or downsizing to cheaper business space with a smaller office, workshop or industrial unit.