Stay positive for the upturn (it’ll help you beat the downturn!)
As businesses are forced to face up to the economic and political challenges presented by changing landscapes and the global downturn, there are still opportunities for them to succeed and grow. But, with today’s economy as it is, they all have to work harder than before to stay successful until the upturn happens naturally.
In fact, there are lots of things that businesses can do to protect against negative external factors and strengthen themselves to move forward and upward. With a focus on strengthening key relationships, effective management and communication, planning, leadership and growth, businesses build all the confidence they need to meet the downturn… head on.
With that in mind, here are our top 5 tips to help businesses stay positive for the upturn – and help them beat the downturn:
1) Invest in your key relationships
It is important to invest time and effort into creating strong relationships with key stakeholders. These include customers, suppliers and partners. Excellent customer service is crucial because if you don’t look after your customers, someone will! The economic climate has forced many companies to re-evaluate their business models and your partners may provide opportunities for collaboration – companies should work together to deliver contracts.
Relationships with professionals, advisers and funders are essential. Advisers to your business are best placed to advise and guide on issues such as access to any available funding as well as helping you with meeting compliance criteria. This can be valuable funding to help your business survive or grow and maximise its market position.
The position of your business can change rapidly in these challenging times so the relationship and regular communication with your bank is absolutely vital.
2) Make sure your management and communication is effective
Your staff are key to maintaining a high level of service and customer care. However, their performance depends on motivation which means incentivising and retaining your staff is crucial for the success of your business. It is important to ensure effective communication between you and your staff to ensure your business performs at its peak, at all times.
Employee benefits in various forms all help to create a positive working environment. Staff are your most valuable asset and there are ways other than a pay increase of ensuring their loyalty. Additional benefits need not cost much but can be rewarding in terms of staff retention and loyalty.
Management of your business information is crucial to its success. Up to date and accurate management information and data will enable your team to make timely informed decisions, which means that you can respond to things quickly and efficiently and avoid costly mistakes.
3) Planning ahead and lead from the front
Forward planning and thinking ahead in business is the key to success, however it’s important to consider the consequences when making decisions. It’s also important to be pro-active and stay in control of the situation, as having a clear strategy that can be executed is essential.
Strong and effective leadership is also a vital component of business success. Business leaders have difficult decisions to make in the current climate and Executives should not be afraid to make them. Making the right decision could be the difference between your business success and failure, however tough it may be. It’s like a game of chess and it’s all about your judgments and the choices you make that will help your business succeed.
4) Keep innovating
Developing a diverse client base with a mixture of sectors in different markets is important to the stability of an organisation. Businesses must broaden their horizons and widen their customer reach to stay ahead.
Established businesses need to look at how they can do things differently and more innovatively, and seek out new opportunities. Moving into new sectors or finding new lucrative customers and adapting products and services into new markets presents a valuable opportunity for business survival and growth.
5) Invest in growth, if you can
Organisations with available funds are in a strong position to expand their business. Businesses with a strong balance sheet (or those with access to money) need to be confident enough to make intelligent investments for the future of their business. Saving money to protect from future problems will suffocate investment in business growth, while identifying and promoting the positives of what you do will help to install confidence in your business.
For smaller businesses that do not have available credit or for those that require funding, traditional routes are becoming harder to access. Alternative funding streams such as venture capital firms or even family and friends may provide the money needed. More importantly, for these businesses, it’s all about managing cash flow – and it can be done in a practical and common sense way, which will increase the chances of succeeding in tough times.
Ultimately, it’s those tough decisions that ensure margins remain at sensible levels as opposed to simply chasing turnover which will help businesses to survive tough times. Business owners need to focus on their strategy for growth or managed costs.
At Ascend Twentyone we can help your business take a positive approach to beating the downturn. What’s more, we can help you find the confidence to make the decisions that matter, and which will ultimately protect your bottom line. So get in touch now to find out more.