There are few things more terrifying to a business owner than having their company slip into a decline. When sales dwindle and you are barely breaking even each month, it’s time to make some serious changes. The question that many people ask is what can they do to pick their business up out of this rut? Here are some ideas which I always keep in my back pocket, and from experience, I can say that they really do work.
When you notice a decline in sales and revenue, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the problem areas. That said, concentrating on these negatives can make you negative, and your problems will seem even bigger than they really are. Take it with a pinch of salt as they say, and don’t dwell only on the negative. Make a note of where your business lacking, and make another list of areas in which your business is doing well. This will help you maintain a healthy perspective.
Highs and lows
Every business has its fair share of ups and downs. For example, my friend’s printing business gets so quiet over the festive season that she closes for 3 weeks instead of staying open for nothing. She gives all of her employees a break, and when they come back the next year, it’s back to the normal crazy swing of things. As for me, I find that my guest house does better in the summer than in the winter, and this is to be expected. Instead of getting stressed out about the low season, I use this time to perform repairs and renovations so that all of my rooms are in top shape for the next high season. Make the most of your quiet times and it will help you really give it your all when the business comes flooding back in.
Take a break
My friend with the printing business didn’t start out by taking any holidays. In fact, she didn’t take any time off at all for the first few years. Only after a while did she begin to recognise the patterns, and now she comfortably takes small breaks throughout the year as well as one long break over the festive season. Working non-stop will leave you feeling worn out, so it’s important to take breaks when you can, even if it is just a long weekend.
Spend your time well
If you are like me, waiting around for the sun to shine is not in your nature and you’ll need to do something to keep yourself busy, so while my handyman (AKA my husband) works on improvements around the guest house, I work on other things to pass the time. Some of my favourites include:-
– Stocking up on articles to post to my blog.
– Uploading photos and videos to my website.
– Extra social media interaction and sometimes contests and give always from time to time.
– Extremely targeted on-line advertising.
– Check in with past guests just to say hi (no marketing here… just keep to my guest house fresh in their minds).
If things really go pear-shaped so to speak, there are some quick fixes that can help provide your business with some instant relief. My cousin had a bit of a financial low several months ago and it threatened his business terribly. There were some power outages and technical problems that really caused huge delays in terms of turn around time (he runs a web design company). To cut a long story short, he decided to downsize and give up his office for a virtual one. He set up his address at a place called Vizz Business Centre and had his employees work from home. At first he thought that they might not enjoy leaving the office and he allowed them the opportunity to take an exit package. However, he did not expect the enthusiasm that this move would receive and his staff couldn’t wait to benefit too! Not only has this move saved him in terms of rent, but also electricity, monthly internet bills and so much more. It has also meant that his employees are prepared to work faster and harder than before since they are in the comfort of their own homes and they can even work on the go if they need to. So, if you need to cut costs in a hurry, a virtual office will definitely help eliminate many fixed monthly expenses and help keep your business afloat. In fact, you may never want to return to that stuffy office again, even after things pick up.