The worst of the economic crisis may be over, but the current economy continues to struggle as it tries to pick up the pieces. Small businesses, in particular, are having difficulty staying afloat and avoiding closing down. If you own and operate a small business, this can be devastating for you after having spent so much time, money, and energy on building up a business you’re passionate about. While you can’t avoid some things, you can work to improve the success and vitality of your small business with the following tips.
1) Safeguard your cash flow
A positive cash flow helps to keep your business running, and should be safeguarded and managed with the utmost attention. Be sure your cash flow is managed well, as various business expenses can never be avoided. In troubled times, it can be necessary to create a stricter budget for your business, in order to reduce some of your expenses and increase your steady cash flow. The methods used to improve your cash flow and safeguard it will vary depending on the type of business you have. Pay closer attention to what you’re spending money on and where your cash flow is going in order to keep your business running smoothly.
2) Review and cut unnecessary expenses
Sticking to a budget with your business means reviewing your current expenses and working toward reducing or cutting some of those expenses. You may be surprised at how many cost-cutting measures can make a significant difference. This includes looking at your vendors and seeing if you can find a vendor offering the same quality of goods at a lower price, cutting office hardware costs, always turning off electronic equipment to save on the high energy costs, and taking a close look at your inventory. If you’re paying a lot for inventory storage, there may be room for substantial improvement. Is it really necessary to order the quantity of items you are ordering and storing? Lastly, consider college internships — where you can offer credit to interns in exchange for work from qualified individuals — which can not only save you money, but offer college students a chance to put your business on their resume and get hands-on experience.
3) Consider alternative funding
Due to the tough economic times, credit loans can be trickier to obtain. However, if you’re in need of funding you can look toward alternative forms of funding such as microfinancing loan, peer-to-peer funding, or crowdfunding. These are beneficial when you only need a small amount of money for your loan. Crowdfunding is possibly the easiest to come by, as you will make a pitch to your consumers and offer a reward or compensation of sorts.
4) Continue with your marketing efforts
Regardless of what other cost-cutting measures you make, it’s important to keep up with your marketing efforts and look for new ways to advertise your business. You should do your best to come up with inexpensive marketing strategies, such as utilizing social media. Social media provides you with a quick and easy way to market your business without spending any money, or very little. By utilizing social media such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, you can get your name out there, interact with customers, and improve your business with free marketing. Starting a blog for your business is another important tool for marketing that won’t cost much and can improve your customer base exponentially.
Having tough economic times can be hard on a small business, but you can still be successful if you pay close attention to where your money is coming and going, and protect your assets appropriately. Never stop marketing your business – this is what will keep your name in the consumers’ minds.