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Business Advice

John Meislahn VP & Sales and Business Development Manager

John Meislahn
VP & Sales and Business Development Manager

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All businesses go through their ups and downs. Thankfully, there are ways to survive rough patches. Business owners or managers need to take a proactive stance to avoid detonation. Staff will need to roll up their sleeves and work hard. Business owners and managers need to do their homework, act quickly, stay smart, and be creative.

The following are some ways to get through a business crisis without having to deal with legal issues, bankruptcy, or closure.

Say No to Mediocrity

Taking calculated risks is different than gambling with a business. Owners and managers need to be smart about how resources are used. It is important that people do not ignore a crisis or put all of their eggs in one basket. Often, people wait until it’s too late to wake up to what is going on. This could mean the end of a business. Mediocrity is a sin in business. Instead, staff need to be proactive, positive and hard-working. Services need to please customers and goods need to be high quality. It is important to have high expectations and to work hard to meet such standards. Customers and employees alike will take notice.

Create a Partnership with Your Business

Businesses need to reflect on their operations, services and goods, prices and profits. Being honest is the first step to avoiding a business crisis. This means being honest with the books and making sure that all income is properly recorded and all expenses are too. Managers and owners need to be honest about strengths and weaknesses so that a business can improve its offerings.

Reduce Spending

Cutting expenses is important for a business if it wants to survive and build a firm foundation. This means looking for an affordable rent, comparing utility and Internet providers’ rates, outsourcing time-consuming tasks and considering all postage, mailing and shipping options. Opening a line of credit is smart so that a business always has necessary cash flow, even during slow times. When looking for a small business credit card, it is important to compare rates and rewards. Tough financial times mean cutting back on cleaning services, newspaper subscriptions, free drinks, and free food for staff. Smart business managers and owners will be honest with staff and clear about expectations. It is important not to overwork employees. Happy staff are productive staff.

Interns and Volunteers

To cut costs but keep up with demand, businesses should look into hiring interns or volunteers. This is a chance to give eager people experience but to cut back on payroll. Interns want to prove themselves and will do everything from file paperwork to run errands. Smart managers will reward them with small gifts and praise.

Buy in Bulk

Business owners should really weigh different suppliers’ offerings and see if they can buy in bulk. This could save a group a lot of money. Additionally, it might pay off to sign long-term contracts – some vendors or suppliers offer discounts for such commitments. Referring other businesses to a group could also come with some financial benefits.

Work with Other Businesses

It is important to engage with the community by attending networking conferences, local events and joining business associations. Different groups could work together to promote one another’s goods, invest in supplies together and get important referrals. Any fees linked to joining such events are tax deductible and a great way to benefit from membership discounts and training courses.

Use the Internet

There is a lot of information on the web. Business owners can compare rates on credit cards, vendors’ offerings and do some research on tax deductions and marketing techniques. Smart businesses will use online marketing campaigns because they are low cost and effective. Additionally, businesses should create profiles on popular social networking websites like Facebook, Yelp and Twitter. This means that a group can directly communicate sales, news and promotions to users and hear what they have to say about a business’s services.

Before things get too serious, a business owner needs to be smart and honest. Taking the time to look at one’s services, expenses, income and performance is important. Waiting too long could result in disaster. Cutting costs is easy if a business owner is honest with him or herself and creative. Being creative means looking for discounts, talking to other business owners, and making the most of online resources. Hard work and focus mean that a business can improve its offerings and survive even the worst recessions or economies.