Uncertain times in business are always stressful. You don’t know exactly how your business will develop over the next few months or even years, so planning for it is hard. Some small businesses end up laying people off when there are too many changes, with nothing to show; others keep people on, incurring unnecessary costs. It can be horrifying either way!
Even one significant change like this in a year can cause cash flow stress, the feeling of ‘too little money coming in and too much going out.
Read more to know how planning and preparing for uncertainty has never been more critical, but armed with the correct knowledge and strategy, there is no reason that you should not be able to get through this time with ease.
Build and nurture your audience
In any case, it’s essential to be prepared for those times when things seem less than secure. Creating an email list of contacts is one of the best ways to prepare for such times.
For one thing, having an email list is a way to give yourself a steady flow of business even when things might not otherwise be going so well. It’s a great way to connect with past customers or clients and remind them that you’re still in business, even if you aren’t actively marketing.
One of the best ways to keep yourself relevant is to get into the habit of sending out regular emails with updates on what you’re up to and how they can continue to get in touch with you. These emails don’t have to be sales-ly—they just have to let people know that you’re here and still investing in your business and doing what it takes to stay successful.
Maintain good relationships
The number one thing you can do to prepare for uncertain times is to make sure that whatever happens, you have an audience you can go to for help. They’ll be there when the times are good. Still, they’ll also be there when times are bad—people need opinions now more than ever, so if you have something interesting to say. People follow you; they’ll turn to you first when they want a second opinion, advice on a purchase, or anything else. If the worst happens and your business fails, at least the audience will still be there for you and will still be willing to engage
Create a special offer
A special offer is an exclusive offer only available to your subscribers. It helps you build and maintain a database of people who are interested in what you have to offer, and it’s also a great way to get them heavily invested in your email list.
Special offers can be time-sensitive, like an hour-long discount or a limited number of spots on a webinar. Alternatively, they can be open-ended but with a deadline to claim the offer, such as a month-long discount with a deadline to enter. The specifics will depend on your business model and what makes sense for you. This will allow you to have some consistency in your cash flow and adjust prices according to the economic environment. You can even turn it into a marketing opportunity!
Don’t lose focus on the small things.
There are some things that you can do now to help ensure that you are not left without any income at all. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure that you have repeat customers.
Repeat customers come back repeatedly because they like your products or services enough that they want more of them. This means you don’t have to spend as much time and money finding new customers, which can save you money in the long run if you’re going through hard financial times.
While it’s essential to think about what might happen in the future, it’s also important not to forget all the small regular sales they make on repeat purchases each week or month. These smaller deals add up over time, so don’t underestimate them when planning for uncertain times ahead!
Think about the spending you can reduce
Reducing your costs in bad times can help you stay afloat and avoid laying off employees or closing your doors.
There are three main areas where you can cut spending:
- Reduce the amount you’re paying for services and products, especially if they’re not essential. For example, if you don’t need a full-time employee, consider hiring part-time employees instead. Explore less expensive alternatives if you don’t need high-end software or other tools.
- Stop buying new equipment and software. If your business is over three years old, your current equipment and software will probably still work fine for you. If you need to upgrade, try renting instead of buying new gear. This will save money in the short term and give you time to see whether it’s still needed when economic conditions improve again.
- Reduce office space and overhead costs by downsizing or moving into smaller quarters, if possible.
Get a plan now (conclusion)
The good news is that almost every business can plan for uncertainty. Even the smallest side gigs are worth planning for and figuring out how you will continue generating revenue should an unexpected event arise. Having a backup plan doesn’t take a huge cash flow business. Identifying your main income stream and putting backup systems in place will ensure your success, no matter what happens. Try to work smart and not hard, and ensure your expenses are as low as possible. Spend in the right way, contact us to know more!