Wow, how time flies – we’re already 4 days into our new lockdown! Only 6 more business days to go 🙂
I am sharing these tips to help you get through the current lockdown but also to prepare us for the wave of lockdowns that will likely continue (at varying levels) over the next 2 years.
Because we know it’s no longer a one-off, there are some things that you can do on a regular basis to make sure that your business is operating as effectively as possible.
So here are today’s 3 tips:
8. Look at where you can reduce costs
If you didn’t do it in the last lockdown then now is a good time to review every expense or COGS/COS line on your Profit & Loss – ie: exactly what you are spending money on.
If you feel your income will drop, or even if you just think you need to tighten your belt, then look closely at where your money is going:
- Is there anything you have been paying for that you no longer need?
- Is there software that you are paying a high rate for when a lower rate version would do?
- Can you negotiate a better price for any of the products or services you use, based on a change in circumstances?
- Look at the staff in the business. As we move forward is the business changing significantly & even though we love our people, are their roles needed in the new ‘normal’? What does the ideal structure look like to move forward?
- If you have significantly changed the way you work, is there an opportunity to restructure the physical parts of the business?
- Do you still need an office or a large retail store? Can more people work from home?
Look for temporary cost savings as well as permanent options. Some will give you immediate savings whilst others will mean significant savings in the future if you start to make the changes now.
However, don’t confuse money saving with the false economy. If software genuinely saves you 2-3 hours per week then build that into the cost. And do staff free you up to do the things that provide greater value for the business? – ie: does it generate or save you more than it costs you?
9. Communicate Regularly
This applies to staff, to suppliers, to friends, to the family – in fact it applies to everything & everyone.
In times of uncertainty, people will fill gaps if you leave them open. And often they fill them with negatives, out of fear & uncertainty.
Through communicating regularly about what is happening & where you are at, you don’t give them the opportunity to make up their own stories.
I have always gone for complete openness & honesty in all my relationships. Occasionally it has backfired but in general, I have found it to be the best way.
I’ve also seen it with my clients. The more open they are then the more supportive the people are around them.
And let’s face it, we can all do with all the support we can get at the moment.
My only tip for communication is to find out how the person wants to be communicated with & how often. No point in sending emails if emails aren’t their thing – I learnt this from my fiancé!
10. Talk to people you owe money to, early
This is one that I have had to learn over the last few years.
It’s not ok to not pay bills, but sometimes it is beyond your control.
Maybe your debtors are not paying you on time.
Maybe in helping your clients you are missing out on revenue that you would normally expect.
Maybe you just didn’t predict well what effect this would have on your business?
Don’t beat yourself up now (but do make time to come back & review what went wrong & how you can improve) – take action.
Talk to the people that you owe money to. See if you can delay payment or come up with a payment plan.
With the hibernation of The Common, I had to have this conversation far more times than I wanted to, however, what I learned from it is that people appreciate knowing the full story, They appreciate the honesty & most of all they appreciate having as much notice as possible so that they too can plan for the impacts this will have on their business.
Ok, I think that’s enough for today – Please do come back & view the last tips tomorrow.
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Finally, please don’t do this alone.
If you are struggling or you just want someone to be a sounding board for your ideas, opportunities or challenges then please book a free session with me – I have some free time over the next week now that I don’t have a birthday or wedding to plan https://calendly.com/debra-chantry/15min
Or visit www.bssv.org to get some free advice from one of our many professionals who have a wealth of experience in dealing with adversity.