Been to the banks, heard the word NO too many times, your options are drying up and you feel lost. Welcome to the club. Being in business is tough and if you don’t stay two steps ahead of the economy, your competition, and the government then be prepared to give a kiss goodbye to your dream and all the sweat, tears and hard work you’ve already spent building up your business. What are our options, where can we turn to for help? It’s always good to have an independent accountant with whom you can make inquires. A lot of us just go to our bank to ask the how and why concerning our finances but remember that banks like any other business work for themselves. There are some actions one can take to help alleviate some of the pressure we may face when times are tough.
Look outside the box, is there a facet of your company that may have hidden potential, something that you can promote to bring in extra sales. One enterprising gentleman, whose mother knitted hand puppets, started advertising these puppets on his website and the orders started rolling in. Who would have thought knitted hand puppets would be a good seller.
Take a chance. We usually do our advertising in the newspapers, on local television, and in our community papers and these are all good advertising avenues. However, why not give the internet a try or maybe set up a website promoting your store’s product. A company that makes hand crafted western boots built a website to promote their western footwear and they started receiving orders from around the world.
Cut back, or trim off the fat wherever possible but remember not to cut too deeply if you do cut too deeply and hit bone you may find it too difficult to recover. Reduce where you can but be wise at what you’re cutting out.
As times get tougher and you see the reduction in profits maybe your suppliers are feeling the same losses in profits as you, is it possible to renegotiate you’re billing or pricing with them. Remember they have a vested interest in keeping you in business; your increase in profits will increase their profits.
Can you diversify? Is there something you can do to add a new revenue source to your business? I have seen a laundromat business install a mail box wall that housed about 30 mail boxes. Not only did they rent out the mail boxes on a yearly bases they started selling envelopes, stamps, writing paper, pens and birthday cards.
Can you bargain? A lot of us find this too stressful and just pay what the seller is asking and then feel cheated when we learn that someone did barter and got exactly what we did for half the price. Who can we blame when this happens, only ourselves? If stepping outside our comfort zone is what it takes to keep our business going then we must learn how to become more adaptable to that process. I have been told that once you get accustom to bartering it can actually be fun.
Come together with others in your industry. You may find it to be a good learning tool to gain insight into how your competition is fairing. Are they experiencing the same downturn as you are? Have they been where you are now and if so how did they regain their footing? You may be surprised to learn that they need your support as much as you need theirs.