Running your own business may be the big dream but here’s a reality check: it’s definitely not all sunshine and roses. Ask any experienced entrepreneur and they’ll readily tell you that it can be really demanding. Sooner or later after forming your company, you’ll likely encounter challenges that will test your knowledge, skills, and staying power. Economic uncertainty, tough competition, lack of funding, and a host of other reasons can lead to business failure. Fortunately, it’s possible to revive your company if you act quickly.
Allow us to share 5 steps you need to take to save your business when you begin to face difficult times.
1. Begin by identifying the real problems
First off, you want to do a thorough evaluation to identify current problems you have in your business. Are you facing challenges with your management or production process? Are you losing money due to overspending?
Recognizing your organization’s weaknesses is important before you can come up with feasible solutions on how to revive your company.
In any case, your goal is to put your finger on what really went wrong. That way, you can spot any serious issues and deal with them sooner rather than later. Be open to new ways of thinking so you can innovate and improve your business. Also, take time to brainstorm with your team members. Ask them for insights and suggestions.
Albert Einstein once said:
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
2. When necessary, reduce costs
Sometimes, cutting costs can be the perfect answer to how to save your business. When accumulated, unnecessary expenditures may lead to debilitating effects on business finances.
Review your budget. Look for ways to decrease expenses without drastically affecting your operations. Do you need to spend less on slow-burn marketing campaigns? Should you reduce supply expenses or implement energy-saving strategies? Can your business benefit from moving to a smaller office?
Actually, you might want to hire an accountant to help you out with this task.
According to an Entrepreneur feature, only 30% of small business owners use accountants. That’s definitely one big mistake you can’t afford to make, especially if you’re serious about staying in business long term.
The popular entrepreneurship website likewise points out:
“Accountants are so valuable because of their objective stance. They don’t have the same bias as friends or family, and they are not intertwined with your company the way employees are. Moreover, they have a stake in the health of your company so they have a strong motivation to see you succeed.”
3. Listen to your customers
Let’s face it. Businesses just love it when they receive positive feedback from their customers. Beyond that, however, it’s also important to hear comments from dissatisfied clients.
In his book Business @ The Speed of Thought, Bill Gates wrote:
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
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Try to assess how you can make the overall customer experience better. You want more people to talk about your business. In addition, you should also do your best to target a wider market. If you’re merely dependent on existing customers, your business will continue struggling.
4. Rebuild your brand
In a Forbes article entitled “How To Rebuild Your Business After Crisis: 5 Key Lessons From A Serial Executive,” former Delsey Paris CEO Isabelle Parize shared:
“A successful company’s core asset is its brand. And to revive the business, you often need to rebuild the brand.”
Exert effort in offering products and services that expand your reach as a business. More importantly, pay attention to any emerging industry trends. You can’t just sit back and rest on your laurels if you seriously want to revive your company.
As Unrelenting Innovation author Gerald Tellis told TIME:
“Success leads to lethargy and overconfidence. It leads a firm to protect the causes of its success — mainly its current products. But nothing lasts forever.”
“There are still a few old companies in old markets, like Coke and soap… But in the high-tech world, change is constant, so you just cannot stand still. Protecting your current product is a formula for disaster. It’s the incumbent’s curse.”
5. Assess your team
Of course, you also have to take your internal team into consideration. You can’t really expect to revive your company without looking into your employees – who are running it on a daily basis.
Do they need additional training and support? Or is it time to hire new team members, maybe? In some instances, personnel change may be inevitable and is your only option to revive a company. This is especially true if people aren’t fully embracing your vision and culture. It’s always better to recruit fresh workers willing to steer your business forward than to stick with bad apples just because they’ve been around for a longer time.
Image source: Unsplash
Remember, swift decision-making can make or break your chances to revive your company during a crisis. On top of that, you need to remain committed to your business.
When asked about his advice for future entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs replied:
Featured image source: Andrea Piacquadio