Today we are facing an economy that has taken a severe beating, and most economists agree that we are in a recession. Although times are hard and business may be slow, there are still some steps you can take to survive.
Revisit your business plan. Remember, the business plan is not static, and it is critical that you make some changes when outside forces dictate. Re-focusing your business plan will force you to pay closer attention to your own business as well as what is going on in the larger business environment. Make your plans more short-term and watch for unexpected changes or surprises.
Competitive analysis. Now more than ever, you should be aware of what your competition is doing. Identify the factors that will give you a competitive edge and make customers choose your product or service over others.
Watch your supply side. It is possible that your suppliers are struggling in this economy, too. Be sure you have options for purchasing supplies in case one of your primary supply sources goes out of business. If you need more time to pay your bills, be sure to communicate with your vendors and assure them they will get paid.
Target your marketing efforts. When times get tough, advertising or promotions often get cut. But consumers are more likely to buy from a company with visibility and familiarity, so you may want to revise your marketing strategy instead of eliminating it. Find low-cost ways to keep your name out there. Maintain a presence in the business community by attending local functions such as Chamber of Commerce events. Reach the customers you already have by sending out an e-newsletter. If you don’t have a web presence, now is the time to create a web site. Pay-per-click advertising can be an inexpensive way to get your name and your product noticed.
Keep an eye on your cash flow. Know your basic financial documents and understand what they are telling you about your business. If your customers are struggling, they might be paying later than your stated terms of payment. This will affect your ability to meet payrolls and pay your own bills. Try to build up some extra cash to get you through. Watch expenditures on non-essentials