Nothing is worse than a drop in business, but how do you bounce back when it seems hopeless? Here’s how.
Reevaluate Staffing Needs
Do you need all of the staff you’ve got? If not, consider laying some off. You may be able to easily get by with less. Alternatively, you could consider reducing non-essential staff hours and offering to help them get another part-time job. This way, when business picks up again, you don’t have to retrain a new staff.
This strategy works best when you communicate your need to reduce hours and save money in a passionate but heartfelt way. Remember, your employees depend on you to pay their bills. And, while they want to be sympathetic to your needs, their needs will often come first so your plea to stay on part-time has to be sincere.
Take Continuing Education Or New Classes
Use the downtime to take extra continuing education courses or expand your knowledge with new college-level courses. Have you been putting off business school or a degree related to your industry? Now might be the time to get it.
Recreate Your Ezine Or Start One
If you don’t have a strong mailing list, now is the time to work on it so that you have fewer business cycles and more sales leads to chase down. An email list is driven by an ezine or email newsletter.
If you’ve got one now, and it’s not pulling in leads every week, consider revamping it so that it does. If you don’t have an email list, it’s time to build one and get an ezine going. If you’re not a writer, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of freelance writers out there who can write a newsletter for you.
However, the best newsletter will almost always be one that you write yourself. So, if you’re experiencing a slowdown in sales, now might be the time to take up a writing course, practice your writing, do some freelance writing yourself, and hone your writing chops in whatever way you can think of.
Get a Loan
A direct infusion of cash will usually wake up a business – even one that’s gone almost completely cold. This merchant cash advance program can take your existing unpaid invoices and fund your expansion.
The way these programs work is that you agree to give up all rights to your current invoices (you specify the invoices you’re selling) in exchange for a lump sum cash settlement. The funding company then collects the cash from your customers.
The financing company also discounts those invoices when they pay you. So, instead of getting 100 percent of the invoice price, you get maybe 85 percent. The company also charges a financing or transaction fee on top of the discount.
At the end of the day, even with the fees and discounting, it’s one of the easiest ways to infuse cash into your business. Some critics don’t like them because they see them as expensive loans, but the alternative for many is to go out of business.
Dennis Firth is a business consultant. He likes to write about his experiences on the web. His articles can be found mostly on business and finance sites.