There are many articles about “surviving the current economic climate” which is using fear to cause the “behavior of the day” for businesses to follow. It seems that everywhere you turn now, people use fear as the reason to behave a certain way.
There is ALWAYS an economic climate, that is a fact. Good or bad, it is always there. There are basics in coping with any economy which are not based upon fear but just common sense.
Watching your costs, marketing your company (and it’s products and/or services), hiring the right people, keeping everyone (including yourself) focused, and most importantly, listening.
Never stop marketing your company or products or you will start losing market share
Each of these easy basic items are a balanced way to run your business. Without balance your job and that of your employees becomes harder and increases costs. If you hire a person, you spend money on training them in your business. Even if they have experience, they don’t have it in your specific business environment. Do they share your company values and do they blend well with their coworkers? Are they in the right position? What is their reason for being with YOUR company?
Just like in your personal life, your company needs money to survive. Profits are key to growing your business but this has to be balanced (there’s that word again) with your staffing and payables needs. Payroll is one of the sticking points in the business-employee dynamic. Employees who are not taken care of financially will not stay with nor go out of their way to promote your business. On the flip side, you don’t want to pay too much so that you cannot pay for other aspects of your business and retain a profit. Cutting payroll is one of the first areas large public corporations cut to boost stocks. This is a great way to damage your business in a multi-pronged way. You damage employee morale and motivation, damage your marketing and you most likely let some of your best employees go and in the long run you will cost the company more through outsourcing or training a whole new crew. A good way to avoid nasty future surprises like this is to balance this using the rule of thirds. 33% of your business should go to payroll, 33% to other payables and retain a 33% profit to reinvest in your business. While this is not a steadfast rule, it is a good place to start. Your suppliers are another great thing to review every year. Are you getting the best value for your money? Are they helping your business?
Never stop marketing your company or you will lose market share. This is another area (like mass layoffs to cut payroll) where companies make mistakes. Marketing is the one thing which keeps your company name or product out in front of your customers. When you no longer are in the minds of your customers, your competition is and you lose sales which may have been yours. Company marketing does not have to be expensive and there are many things which can be done with relatively little cost. A good marketing company (like HCV Marketing) can help go over this with you.
The last and most important is listening. This is not restricted to a certain group of people but to everyone. From customers to your entry level employees, just listen. You would be surprised at the amount of information about your business and how every person inside and outside view it. This information can be incorporated into your meetings on how to improve any part of your business.
By doing these