The financial crisis (how your business could overcome it)
SME owners are asking us how they can overcome a financial crisis. Woh! Big question.
And I’m not sure anyone can give you a rock-solid, factual answer.
So this article is going to list a few suggestions for you. Things we are doing, things we’re seeing other smart folks doing and things we’ve researched for you to try.
I’m not promising anything. After all, we’ve not seen anything like this in our lifetime. But there’s no harm in trying.
So together let’s dig into six things that could help you right here, right now.
Ready? Let’s go….
1) Solve your most urgent problems
During good times, financial problems are often a sign of larger issues.
Okay, so that’s not true right now.
The problems are global. And affecting us all.
So we know that the problems you’re facing are due to COVID and an economic downturn.
As the SME Queen, Amy Hoy, says “to survive a down market, be an investment, not an expense”.
So position your product or service as something that is going to make money for your customers.
In fact, this is fantastic advice no matter what the economy is doing.
The economy has been good lately. So companies that sell 'wants' not 'needs' have been able to thrive.
That ship has sailed.
Right now, your most urgent problems are likely money-related. That’s going to mean cutting costs - so cut anything that isn’t essential. And finding new revenue streams - by being an investment to your clients.
So grab a piece of paper right now. And write out your top three most urgent problems.
Great! The next few points will help you solve them.
2) Create a budget
You know what a budget is. We don’t need to explain that to you.
But you do need one. Create a budget that is hyper-specific to the problems you’re trying to solve.
How much will it cost to research your customers to find out what else you can sell to them? Your time?
Now is not a good time to recruit a market research agency. By doing this yourself, you'll see that you're better at finding problems than they are.
What about cutting costs?
List everything you’re spending money on.
Mark all the non-essential expenses.
Great! Now cancel them.
3) Adopt a new sales strategy
We embraced the difficulties in the economy instead of moaning and groaning that it’s unfair. There’s nothing we could do about it. Our only option was to look for better marketing opportunities as a way to grow.
This actually turned out to be a blessing.
The constraints of having less money to spend on marketing forced us to get creative. That meant zero advertising budget. But plenty of time to write articles that drive traffic via organic search.
Our traffic from Google has increased 10x since March. We’ve worked out better strategies for connecting with customers. Our website is now more friendly on the eye. And our copy is much clearer.
All these options, and more, are open to you, too.
Now is the time to focus on doing marketing that costs nothing but time. Like writing blog posts that teach your customers how to kill a pain they’re suffering from. And you’ll know that pain if you talk to them.
While your competitors panic over lost revenue. You can be out on the front lines understanding exactly what your customers need.
And you can give it to them!
99% of companies get this wrong. Narcissism creeps in at all angles. The copy is all me, me, me, and the customer gets left out. But there is no business without the customer.
Get customer-centric. Learn their pains. Soothe their pains. And watch where their money goes when they need your product or service.
Did your research uncover customer pains that your product or service doesn't solve? But with a little effort, it could?
That’s a potential new revenue stream.
Ask a few customers if they’d like that pain solving. And then go away and work out how you could do it.
It’s as simple as that.
4) Work on your mental health
Canadian Psychologist, Jordan Peterson, said clean up your room, clean up your life.
Cryptic? I know, sorry!
What he means is that if you look after yourself first, you’ll be able to look after others as a result.
The way to earn more revenue, right now, is going to be through caring about your customers' problems. But how are you going to do that if you’re miserable and depressed from the economic situation?
After COVID, mental health issues have exploded. More people are depressed, anxious and stuck than we’ve seen in decades.
If you feel down, that is okay. That’s normal. Putting pressure on yourself to feel good rarely works.
So first take the time to rest and heal. And then, as Jordan says, get your house in order.
Without a tidy room, you won't help your customers get what they need so they can pay you the money that you need.
5) Look for small business funding
Sometimes small businesses dismiss funding - opting for the fully-bootstrapped route. And while that is noble (really, it is) - during a time like this you must explore the funding options available to you.
If you don't want the added risk of a loan. And you have invoices from customers that you'd like paid now. CreditStretcher could be a great option for you.
A credit stretch allows you to get paid immediately. And gives your buyers 60 days to pay us back without interest.
Your customer can extend that payment term to 90 days for 1% of the invoice amount (between you and them).
Unlike most finance options, a credit stretch benefits both the buyer and the seller.
If you want to credit stretch; please create an account today.