The ongoing pandemic has somewhat slackened its grip on Europe while still holding the USA and other countries in its fist.
Since the entire world has been fearing for their lives, which is only natural, there hasn’t been much time to think about other consequences.
During self-isolation and lockdown, some people worked from home, but there were a lot of those who weren’t able to since their jobs can’t be done via a stable internet connection and a computer.
The absence of the working force and most importantly, the customers, pushed a lot of entrepreneurs close to the brink in the financial sense.
However, even though most governments have offered some kind of help to the private sector, businesses still need to find a way to cut costs and fill their budget so as to navigate through this crisis. With that in mind, here are some tips for business owners to consider in terms of their finance in these troublesome times.
1. Strengthen the bonds with existing customers
Many pillars hold a successful business and most of them are interconnected: your products/services, your employees, and let’s not forget – your customers.
The first two factors you can have some influence on but in times of crisis, this third pillar becomes even more essential because it can make a difference between survival or bankruptcy.
To fill in your budget, you need people to purchase your products or services and your starting point should be your present customers since you can leverage their previous positive experience.
Remind them gently of your existence, extend some emotional support, offer free advice through a blog, and/or special discounts and these small gestures will strengthen their faith in your brand and they will become return customers.
2. Work on attracting new customers
Although this might sound counterproductive, you do need new customers since you can’t hope to make progress if it’s the same pool of people.
To attract more people, you usually need to invest. A part of your budget will be distributed to marketing, Facebook, and Instagram ads, but not all of the investment comes in the shape of money.
There’s one currency that is more expensive than money and that’s time. You have your bright people around you and if you operate and communicate transparently, you can find a solution together, one that doesn’t ask for much from the financial point of view but is still powerful enough to attract people.
Always start with what you have at your disposal in terms of material, content, and products – if you have resources, there is no need to waste them.
3. Assess your expenses
The time has also come to literally cut your expenses and this means assessing all that is you spend your budget daily, monthly, and yearly.
Don’t forget, it’s not only you that is in trouble which means that some suppliers would rather allow their clients (in this case, your business) to pay in installments at some other date than to lose them completely.
Every expense has to be justified and rational since no one can afford to throw away money in times like these. Also, you should definitely consider getting back a part of the money you spend by using a standard chartered unlimited cashback credit card which will earn money with each purchase. And the best thing is that this type of cashback is tax-free which means you profit from spending.
4. Consider remote work
While some companies have embraced the benefits that remote work offers, others have just started learning about them during the time of the lockdown.
If you are paying rent for additional space for people who can work from home completely, don’t you think it’s time to cut some expenses?
Also, all expenses that are pay-per-use based are minimized with your employees working from home, from coffee and milk to the internet (if that was your agreement).
You needn’t cover their monthly bus tickets or their car fuel and besides, if the work is done on time and with the same quality, does it matter whether your employees are sitting behind a desk in a suit or on their couch in their PJs?
5. Rethink your priorities
The last but not least, this is the perfect timing to consider the direction in which your business is going. Even if your long-term goals might not change, your short-term will have a makeover due to different factors.
You may experience a shortage of employees because some of them are sick, while others may be stuck in other countries taking care of their parents and grandparents.
Whatever the reasons, revisiting goals is crucial for your business’s survival and this means first and foremost rescheduling some projects for the times with a fuller budget.
Also, you would need to drop those that haven’t shown themselves as beneficial and prioritize those that can work with the resources that you have at your disposal.
Even large well-established companies are feeling the ground shake beneath their feet but the difference is, besides their budget and resources is that they probably have a plan for times like these.
If you strategize and make sound rational decisions all the while consulting with your employees, you can help your business not only defeat the crisis but also come out as victorious.