How do I save my business is the second question that I am asked the most. Many people end up closing their doors when their business can be saved. Being in business is a huge investment of time and money. How do you know when it it’s time to give up and walk away? You business starts with you and your family needs. You need to stay in business? This is what you need!
Income: Is your business bringing in money; If the answer is no, this is what you can do to change it.
1. Make a budget and start cutting cost. Get rid of things that are not being used.
2. Update your systems. How does your business run? When is the last time you updated or even automated your systems? You are only as good as the systems you work on. If your systems are outdated or not computerized you are a dinosaur.
3. Evaluate the management including you. Review all employees’ performance including yours. Start doing performance reviews. Have someone that you trust give their opinion on your business for one week. Let them give you an overall view of you and your staff. This can be hard to hear.
4. Cut the dead weight. It’s hard in a small business to fire or layoff people. Times are tough and this is your business. You cannot care more for your employees than you care for yourself and your family.
5. Change the way you market your business. If you are heavy in advertising switch to doing PR. People are saturated with advertising these days. Most people fast forward during commercials. Start driving people to your doors with publicity over advertising. How do you start a PR campaign? Start a group, or become a sponsor. Sponsorship cost very little money. To sponsor an event, partner with local business. Start by sponsoring a church event or community event. Churches love back to school events. For the cost of donated school supplies you introduce your business to the whole congregation. Start networking, public speaking for events and groups. Write articles about your business. Become active in your community. Go where you customers are. Join social networks on the web.
6. Expand your business reach. If your business just operates in your city expand by creating a website. Introduce your business to surrounding cities. Join the chamber of commerce in other cities and join networking groups and trade associations in different cities.
7. Government and city contracts. Did you know that the government and city contacts are in every industry? Check your local government and city websites.
8. Improve your customer service. Invite your customers for a coffee chat. Go to that local café and ask if you could invite your customers in for an event. Ask for the space for free in exchange for bringing in new business. Don’t be cheap, buy coffee and pastries for your clients from the café. Don’t do a hard sell. Be social, make if fun and have a door prize (donated by a local business) or a gift certificate from the café. Give everyone a survey about your customer service. Read it and take it seriously and make changes
9. Pay your bills and start making arrangements. Don’t avoid your creditors. Deal with them honestly. If you don’t have the money to pay them now, see if you can start paying in small amounts to show good faith. Everyone will not agree, but this is a good start.
10. Treat you employees with respect and tell them what is going on. All your employees may not stay with you. This will give you an opportunity to know who is loyal and what is going on in your business.
11. Put your money in the bank not in your pocket. Pay your bills and employees from your bank account not your pocket. You will better records. Don’t forget to pay yourself. Even if it is a little money pay yourself.
12. Update the decor. Is your business clean? If not, clean it up! Painting and cleaning is the cheapest way to update the look of your business. Need to update your furniture? Don/t go on a shopping spree, go on Craigslist or a secondhand store.