14th August, 2020
Business operators should continue assessing these six things as lockdown restrictions continue and, eventually, ease.
Things have been, and still are, tough for most small and medium sized businesses.
But with the help of wage subsidies, small business loans, and other forms of financial assistance offered by the Government, some businesses have taken the opportunity to reassess their business model.
At no time in history has it been beneficial for an organisation to get stuck in its ways, and that’s especially true for the businesses of today. Being proactive will offer you a better chance of survival.
So no matter how daunting it may seem, now might be just the right time to think about your business’s future, even if that means adjusting course.
To help your chart that journey, here are six key actions you may want to take either as lockdowns wear on, or once they begin to ease depending on your individual circumstances.
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No matter your current situation, you need to start with a holistic view of your business and the direction it’s headed before you can get started.
To do this, you not only need the time to step away from the day-to-day management of the business, but you need a clear insight into your current performance — we’re talking cash flow, profit and loss, you name it (this is where a good cloud accounting package comes in).
I regularly consult with business owners who don’t have a spare minute in their day to talk business planning, who will also tell you they know there’ll be months in a year when they’re tearing their hair out with the lack of things to do.
Peaks and troughs in sales revenue — whether it’s caused by seasonality or current the economic turbulence — can easily be rectified with good cash flow managed and sales strategies. But you need to take the time out to put those systems in place beforehand.
Some business owners are so busy working on the day-to-day aspects of their business, they do not have the time to look at what the next six to 12 months might look like.
And these activities become even more crucial if you, like many other businesses, have had to shrink your employee headcount as a result of a downturn in business.
All of these issues can be solved so long as a frank assessment of your business can be made. And, while we at TAPP Group are happy to help you where we can, MYOB also provides a directory of advisors for you to easily search for an expert in your area.
An appraisal of your business plans may trigger necessary tweaks to be made in the way you’re operating.
Can you move some or all your business online (if you have not done so already)? If so, how would that impact the way you run your business?
To help you achieve these goals quickly, we recommend seeking out other business experts who have overcome similar challenges in their own businesses, rather than relying on more generalist business consultants.
Such a person will be able to highlight the new systems and processes, pitfalls and easy wins that you should watch out for, while most importantly offering you the ability to save costs by learning from their mistakes.
If you’ve been in business for a while, in most cases, you would already have a sales strategy in place. Question is, is it working as well as it could be?
Not only has an increasing amount of sales and marketing shifted online in recent years, the platforms and strategies that exist in the digital space continue to evolve at pace.
And that’s before you consider how purchasing habits have also changed dramatically over the last five or so years.
If you’re not a digital native, or aren’t as ‘close to the tools’ as you once were, it may be time to reconsider your business’s ability to:
There are many great ways to increase sales without it costing a fortune, but you need to understand what you’re doing, otherwise it could be a very costly exercise.
So, preparing a new marketing plan and budgeting for this new way of doing business would be an incredibly good place to start. After all, cash flow is key.
Talk to your advisor about your plans, they cannot help you if they don’t know what you looking to achieve.
We all know that in order to get the level of income, your business needs to be successful, you need to build a pipeline of prospects, so that if they don’t buy from you today, with the correct tools you can retarget them and one day by keeping in touch with the right content, they will hopefully buy from you in the future.
A great place to start is having a good CRM (customer relationship management) system, which can store specific information about each client. Information such as the clubs they belong to, hobbies they enjoy, their spouses and children’s names and dates of birth, holidays they are planning or have enjoyed in the past, how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19.
A CRM should contain all the detail required to create offers and campaigns, products and services that better meet the expectations of your prized customers. And that means you can’t start creating all those amazing things until you have the systems in place and the right data available.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that your CRM system should integrate well with any other business-critical tech that your future-proofed business plans require. For example, a CRM working in tandem with your cloud accounting package can help you better track and forecast average order values, customer loyalty and buying cycles.
Your CRM system can link with an automated email system (and landing page) so if you do wish to send out bulk emails, you can, or, “tag” types of customers and send information to just those in certain categories.
You can then design a step-by-step follow-up process to make sure you’re not missing any opportunities to sell your services or products.
When used properly, this information will help you build lasting, relationships with your clients while opening your business up to greater insights and opportunities.
With the way the world is changing, business owners need useful, practical help.
Busy entrepreneurs rarely have time to devote hours and hours to reinvent their business let alone reinventing themselves. But those that want to succeed know they need to upskill to stay ahead of their competitors.
Which may be the most important thing to keep in mind through all the uncertainty we’re facing at the moment: things change — it’s up to us to figure out how to cope with that.
Are you looking for a scalable way to help your business grow and succeed with online business and marketing courses? The team at The TAPP Group have developed a unique way for you to access a range of easy, bite-sized, online courses.
Click on this special MYOB offer for $5 per course – available until 30 September 2020.