Don’t blame the economy
Sell beyond economic factors
Small & medium businesses are quick to jump to a conclusion that their business has slowed down because of the economic slowdown.
Economy is the best punching bag. No one can verify your claim.
It’s as though you are attacked by aliens. Totally unexpected & out of your control. Why bog down with the world’s economic situation when it is out of your control. All that your business really needs, is for you to close those expected orders in your sales funnel and reach your target. And if you do lose those deals, someone else will be awarded. How then would it justify your claim that economic situation is the reason for your slowdown. Instead, increase your outreach to better your sales conversion & not rely on few opportunities to get by.
You’ve had it easy, now its time to move that a**, role up your sleeves & double your expresso shot. Challenging times require you to up your game. Manage your time & resources better while you make every attempt to stay relevant to your prospect customers.
First things first, its time to manage your cash flow
Keep your payment outflow at least 20% lower than your inflow. I know sweetheart, you are waiting for the launch of iPhone 8 & you wont look cool if you still have iPhone 7S after that launch. But if your cashflow ain’t on your side, say NO ! Be patient, you wont die. I promise!
If stock market is down & real estate agents are busy biting their nails. Thank your destiny. This is a great time to propose investment opportunity to small investors. No you don’t necessarily have to give away shares, work on project based financing. Eg: If you are a trader & buy to sell once you receive a clients purchase order or commitment, then find an investor who is willing to invest on project basis. Give the investor a decent share in the profit from this transaction. No need to sell shares.
Find investors to invest in your variable expense while you manage your fixed expenses with your existing cashflow. Finding investors to share your variable expense also gives you an edge over your competition since your financing model is scalable. You can pitch for bigger orders while you stay lean. Cashflow is the main reason SMBs burn out. It is not necessary that the business plan wasn’t good enough as there are others who continue to thrive in same industry.
Take care of your cashflow ! Stay liquid at all times.
SMBs don’t invest much in marketing. You’ll find talented freelancers at low cost available through websites like fiverr.com & nabbesh.com. For a few dollars, you have a varied choice of freelancers to outsource your next marketing assignment. Eg: Manage your social media, redo aesthetics of your presentation deck, make a promotional video & many more services.
Make sure your sales team are closers. You don’t want them to communicate but convince & close the sale. Get them to only chase qualified leads that close within a pre-estimated time frame so you can forecast expected sales. Measure sales conversion rate to know how many qualified leads you need to chase every month & remember: Time is Precious; every effort made & not closed, has an opportunity cost associated to it.