Here's a survival guide for small business with a list of things you need to concentrate on in tough economic times.....
1. First attitude .... be strong do not look like you are about to hang yourself
2. Perseverance .... be prepared to stay the distance
3. Opportunity cast your net around .... use successful contacts to garner extra business they after all should be happy with you
4. Weigh your options .... carefully consider anything you do before you do it so you do not spend unnecessarily
5. Use your network .... more than ever before ask people for business
6. Do not be afraid to ask for business .... get you attitude right about getting business
7. Negotiate with creditors .... give better payment terms to reduce costs
8. Negotiate with debtors .... give better payment terms to reduce costs
9. Cutting costs .... cut all unnecessary costs and get quotes on all costs to see if you can shave ask current suppliers to give you a better deal
10. Sharing the burden making people responsible .... get your staff working to save their jobs they must contribute
11. Buy in from staff .... get them using their contacts too
12. Do your homework better than ever before .... go and relook at everything you do with your staff have planning sessions you will be surprised what they know and where to save
13. Do not take unnecessary risks and think quick rich
14. Stick to basics
15. Stick to knitting
16. Plan your business and keep everyone informed especially your banker
17. Downgrade where possible
18. Image is not important survival is
This is indeed a shake-out time. As Jack Welsh says: "During uncertain times we weed out the weak players and the strong ones widen the gap".
This is a time to work on making your business better - not to dig in. You are obviously taking this proactive step. This means making the business more lean, but mostly focusing more on your customers and making sure you address their wants and needs. Focus on looking at your business through their eyes.
Be very efficient in your advertising, look at it as an investment - don't do anything unless it shows an adequate return. That means you have to test and measure - ask your customers how they learned about your company. Invest more in advertizing that works. Try different ads and test which one works best. Internet based businesses tend to focus only on internet marketing - try also doing it the old-fashioned way - many good prospects haven't yet become 100% digital.
Ask your existing customers how you can better serve them - many will give you valuable insights. Follow-up with customers - collect their contact information and send them newsletters including special loyalty offers.
The idea is to outsmart your competition so you can survive when they can't and then thrive when the economy recovers.