Running a small business is never a cakewalk. Yet, it’s even more demanding during the economic depression and recession. The financial world is facing some serious threats at the moment. From coronavirus to market shifts and reduced flow of goods and people, SMB-owners need to prepare for numerous challenges in the time ahead.
Therefore, we’ve put together 5 cost-effective hacks that can ease the effects of the economic turmoil.
1. Focusing on existing business activities
When you’re trying to keep your assets under control, it’s crucial to prevent them from scattering.
SMB-owners are entrepreneurs who are always working to improve their existing business and introduce new operations.
However, at this moment, it’s recommended not to expand the scope of business activities.
As opposed to that, it’s better to focus on your core operations. If you’re developing mobile apps, invest your time in energy in the already agreed projects. If you’re an SEO-agency, work hard to give your existing clients additional value.
The financial market is unstable, and you should make an additional effort to keep your loyal clients even closer than before.
When things calm down, you will get a chance to expand your network of clients.
2. Relying on long-term contributors
We’ve pointed out how important loyalty and focus are when thinking about clients.
It’s vital to realize that the same goes for employees, contractors, and contributors.
Regardless of your niche, you probably have some permanent employees and some occasional collaborators/contributors. If you’re feeling the effects of the business crisis, inform all of them about the financial perspective of your business and their jobs.
In order of appearance, make sure to ensure sufficient workload and salaries for your full-time workers and then for your part-time contributors.
It would be wise to notify them of the situation in advance so that they know what to expect.
If possible, don’t reduce salaries. So, if you start facing a lower workflow, it would be recommended to keep the core crew intact and let some of the part-time workers go. These are only some of the options for optimizing your labor costs.
3. Allowing remote work
Remote work is becoming more and more popular, regardless of the current situation with the pandemic. Younger generations of workers and business owners have realized that remote work allows them to use their time more efficiently. Some of them manage to perform more business tasks in less time. Such productivity leaves more time for family and socialization.
Hence, let your employees work from home whenever possible. You can give them several days a month for starters, just to see how that would work.
If this movie turns out to be efficient, it gradually increases the number of days they can work remotely.
As a result, you’ll have lower electricity bills, as well as energy consumption for cooling/heating your business premises. What’s more, you won’t have to pay travel expenses for those days.
On the other hand, it’s necessary to control your workers’ efficiency, at least in the initial period. You can ask them to install one of the time-tracking apps to monitor their work productivity. If you see that they perform their tasks responsibly, those apps can be removed after some time.
4. Ensuring smooth customer support
Knowing that a brand is here for them is extremely important for customers in all periods.
And when the business situation is not too bright, the sense of care and support becomes even more important. This is why business owners need to invest their time and energy in enhanced customer support.
For eCommerce businesses, this means ensuring more staff for returns and reimbursements of products. Other modern SMBs need to enable smooth communication between their employees and customers.
From chatbots and email to phone calls and even conference calls for VIP-clients, it is important to be there for every single client.
If you’re not sure that your website meets the increased demand for smooth communication, think about redesigning it. As suggested by the digital agency based in Houston, changing some aspects of your business website can prevent you from losing your customers.
5. Avoiding investments
SMB-owners often search for new investment opportunities, on both sides, as investors and as receivers of assets.
When the economy is struggling but you’re keeping your business afloat, be careful with investments. It would be better to save the surplus of assets – if any – to ensure better customer support (as suggested above) or even to pay bonuses to your employees. This will be a sign of goodwill at this moment and a real investment in the future.
If you’re into stocks, you might want to buy some cheaper shares at this moment to sell them when their price starts to rise.
Also, you can simply put this potential surplus aside and invest it when the situation begins to improve.
When you see that the business perspective is bleak, it’s crucial to retain the existing workload and cash flow. The first step to do that is by reducing your costs. Still, make sure to estimate the types of cost-effective measures that would be beneficial for your business. We’ve suggested some reasonable ones, such as the focus on your customers and restrictive asset management but without any redundancies, if possible.
In case you make any financial surplus, save it and start your investments once the crisis is over. All these measures will help you keep your SMB stable during the economic turmoil.
Author Byline: Liam Collins is a tech pundit and Web enthusiast working at TuiSpace.com. He spends most of his time reading and writing about the current affairs in the world of information technology. When he isn’t working, he likes going for long bike rides and walks in nature.