Life as an SME has never been easy but suffice to say, in the current climate, it’s even more difficult.
With the economy on an uncertain footing, succeeding in business is challenging for both new and existing companies.
Bearing this in mind, regardless of where you are in your journey, here are four tips to reshape the way you do business, to try and come out the other side all the more stronger.
Hone your USP
When times are tough, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a point of difference – or, as it’s more commonly known in business, a USP (unique selling point). This will make you stand out from the competition and, as such, is key to driving sales and ensuring customers come back to you repeatedly.
Sure, you may have had a USP back when you started your business (or, in some cases, when you first had the idea for your company!). However, trends change, consumer habits evolve, and, as such, your USP may well have changed too.
Take some time to sit down and think about what makes your company different and use that to inform your marketing and sales strategy moving forward.
Keep on top of your finances
In these testing times, keeping a close eye on your finances is more important than ever.
After all, if you’re not making money, you’re not going to be in business for very long!
You can do this in several ways, from using accounting software to tracking your incomings and outgoings. In relation to the latter, this is the time to study everything. It might be the cost of your public liability insurance, from the way to the payment terms you’re receiving from suppliers.
Either way, knowing where your business stands financially will help you make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources – and, more importantly, how to cut costs where necessary.
Review your processes
Another way to make your business more efficient is to review your processes.
Take a step back and look at how you’re doing things, from communicating with customers to how you fulfil orders. Are there any areas where you can streamline your processes? Are there any tasks that could be automated?
Making even small changes in this area can greatly impact your bottom line – and, in turn, help you weather the storm.
Diversify your income streams
If you’re heavily reliant on one income stream, now is the time to diversify. Look at other products or services you could offer, other markets you could tap into or other channels you could sell through. The more income streams you have, the less vulnerable your business will be to the ups and downs of the economy.
Of course, diversifying your income streams is easier said than done – but it’s worth considering if you want to future-proof your business.