Business is slow...what do I do?
The good thing is that the economic downturn won’t last forever, you just have to ride it out. Be positive and let’s get this done!
It is critical to know your business inside out; not only what Covid-19 means for your operations (i.e. Will you still sell or service as much as you normally do?), but also what it means for your finances.
10 Simple things for sole traders, freelancers & small businesses to know in order to win business, even in slow economic times
- Don’t freak out, stay on top of your finances (for tips, see our handy blog article, 'New Sole Trader Business Checklist - Freelancer / Sole Trader Start-Up Guide' for details).
- Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business; to keep your small business healthy, cash needs to continue flowing through.
- Review your sales and invoicing processes
- Review inventory, supplies and expenses
- Can you reduce your costs of materials without a loss of quality?
- Can you have less stock on hand (e.g. less materials in the ute)?
- Do you know what jobs give you the greatest margin to make money? Can you structure your time to focus on these core jobs?
- Australians are forced to do business very differently during COVID-19 and diversification is very important for success. Can you focus on the jobs that guarantee the most profit?
- Shift and refocus if possible by either selling cheaper goods or providing services at a discount to win more jobs.
- Is there a way that you can win an extra job, or steal a client from a competitor?
- Improve customer service by taking calls out of business hours, do an extra job, etc.
- Leverage your current relationships
- Be a partner to your competitors' customers
- Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
- In moderation, without damaging your cash flows you should not cut back on marketing. Help your customers realise that what you are offering is still needed, even if money is tight.
- Take advantage of the government’s subsidies (check out our other blog ‘What support is available and what does it mean?’ for details of what may be applicable to you).
- Stay positive when your competition gets a case of the doom and gloom
- Never stop trying to win new business
- Fix problems and do anything in your power to support your clients
- This is a short term downturn, you just have to make it through!
- Is it time to check in on your value proposition?
- What exactly do you solve for your clients?
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- Highlight how you are lowering the client’s costs or increasing their productivity
- Update your website, Facebook page or whatever platform you use and prove your worth with testimonials, case studies and multimedia
*As a bonus, if you want our CA certified accountants to have a look at your business and finances before tax time, sign up for free and give us a bell (leave your name, number and email) at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
Note: Any advice or commentary in this blog is general advice and requires validation from a registered accountant to make sure it is appropriate for you.