If the never ending COVID-19 pandemic, national labor shortage, recent uptick in competition, or ever-changing consumer trends has caused headaches for your small business, know that you are not alone. Over the past few years, over 200,000 business owners have had to shut the doors, forever.
Whether your small business is experiencing issues due to COVID-19, changing market trends, or something completely different, just know that we are here to help! As the business owner, it will be on you to right the ship for your business. Just be aware you should not try to handle this task on your own. By using our advice and leaning on others, you can help turn your business around in no time. So let’s get to it! Here are the top tricks and tips business owners can use to save their struggling businesses.
1- Understand and Assess Your Struggles
Before you can fix your business, you need to identify exactly what issues are holding you back. You cannot just assume you are struggling due to COVID-19 or some other pandemic-led issue. Taking the time to dive headfirst into your business. and Investigating each and every task, financial decision, and operation should be your first step in the process.
A good initial step to take when trying to assess how your company is performing is to dig into your financial information. Looking into your recent sales numbers, cash-flow statements, and upcoming projections should instantly give you a snapshot of how your company is performing financially. Seeing that issues with cash flow are the leading cause of business failure, this would be a great first place to look.
Besides taking a step back to look over your day-to-day and annual financial documents, it would be wise to meet with experts both within your company and outside of the company for assistance. Your coworkers and department heads (if you have them) will be just as, if not more, plugged into specific areas of the business than you. If you have noticed your business is struggling, call each department leader together for a company-wide meeting where you and the team can identify the root causes of your issues. Besides leaning on your coworkers, outside business consultants can offer you the guidance you need to dig yourself out of the hole you are in.
Knowing the scope and extent of the problems plaguing your business is the first step you need to take in order to find future success.
2- Invest in the Business
After identifying the issues with your business, you will need to put time and resources into fixing whatever those issues may be. Obviously, some fixes will be easier than others, but almost all issues within your business will require some sort of investment to fix.
The amount of money and time you will need to get your business on the right course will be entirely dependent on the current situation. Some businesses may only need a bit of backend tinkering to fix, while others may need an entire rebrand or something even more costly.
Depending on your current situation, you may need outside assistance in order to have the immediate funds to pull your business out of the hole it’s in. As a business owner you can either bet on yourself finding success later and look into different types of personal loans you can use for your business, OR you can bet on yourself now and use whatever personal savings you have left in the business. Either way you cut it, you will be betting on finding future success in your business through smart investments. Moving forward we will be laying out the areas of business you should invest in.
3- Identify Areas of Tech to Upgrade
As a small business, technology can be one of the most useful tools to propel growth. Current technology offerings allow businesses to offload and automate tasks, track all financial transactions more easily, and effectively host and market their brand online.
When your business is struggling financially, it can be tough to know what kind of technology will be worth the investment. Using the funds you either saved up or gained access to through a loan or grant should be invested in these key areas.
- Website development and design. Building a site has become easier over the years. Thanks to easier domain hosting and sophisticated website building tools, people who have little to no coding experience can build websites rather quickly. Getting a sophisticated website in place will help your business grow in more than one channel.
- Social media marketing. Keeping to the online channels, you should look for ways to market your business during your trying times. The most cost-effective way to get your name out there is through social media. Consider dedicating a budget to creating professional social media ads and videos. Running a paid campaign can reach thousands of people on a shoe-string budget.
- Accounting software. For many small businesses, their financial problems start right in the accounting department. In fact, the number one cause of financial mistakes in business is human error. Utilizing accounting software to automate all financial tasks, or at least assist with financial tasks, could help fix any financial issues you may have.
While it can be scary to spend money when you are struggling, each of these tools could be the very thing you need to pull yourself out of the rut you currently are in.
4- Refresh Your Talent Pool
As the leader of your business, you can only do so much as one person. In the end, your business can only go as far as the people you surround yourself with can take it. If your business has been struggling lately, an influx of new talent could be exactly what you need.
Using your savings or loans funds to invest in a hiring strategy would be a great way to drum up new talent within your business. To do this, you first need to identify areas within your business that are currently lacking. Some common areas to look into adding to are: the product development team, marketing department, sales team, or C-Suite.
After identifying the types of positions you want to hire for, you should work with your HR team to develop a robust hiring plan. Hitting candidates across multiple channels, including online hiring boards, has become increasingly important. More candidates than ever before are using professional networking sites and job boards as ways to find opportunities.
Hiring is extremely competitive right now. With more people currently leaving jobs, you will need to effectively market yourself to attract the top candidates. Adding new talent to your business will hopefully help turn your fortunes around.
If you find that you are struggling, do not panic. Almost every business will go through its own trials and tribulations. Stay on the course and do everything you can to turn the business around. Leaning on technology and outside help are great cost-effective ways any small business can help itself out of a rut.