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Business Continuity: What you can do to Manage Market Uncertainties
The rapidly spreading COVID-19 is badly affecting human life and the economic condition of countries across the world. As citizens are advised to stay at home, shops, mills, and factories are closed, supply chains are disrupted, and corporate employees are working from home. Also, many companies are avoiding doing business with their clients as they are skeptical about the completion of projects on time.
While you have no control over market fluctuations, it is that specific time when you can adapt to changes, brainstorm, innovate, and grab opportunities to ensure business continuity. Although these difficult times are disruptive, which no one expects to face, such times push us to go out of our comfort zone and think smart, enabling us to gain problem-solving skills.
Tips for Managing Your Business during Economic Uncertainty
1. Finance management and future planning
When it comes to dealing with business challenges, the first thing you should do is to come out of panic and make your brain work on evaluation. You, as a business owner, will need to make decisions that might be tough for you during such hard times and it would be better if you;
- Do not wait for the bad to occur and then respond.
- Take a proactive approach and plan how you would respond to business problems and affected clients.
- Update your cash flow projections daily or weekly.
- Perform long-term financial forecasting.
- Prepare a chart that shows the track you will follow to increase income in the coming months (at least 3-6).
Besides, evaluate your income, cash flow statement, and balance sheets to determine what actions you can take to tackle challenges that might arise in the future.
Meanwhile, you must keep yourself updated about what actions state and federal governments are taking, for example, during economic crisis (like the current) governments come forward and provide support to businesses. Look for such information and take advantage of these beneficial schemes.
2. Communicate with people connected to your business
Once you thoroughly work on your first step, communicate with your suppliers, vendors, and stakeholders, tell them know about your business continuity plan, and keep them in the loop.
Open touch points for customers in order to support them when they need you the most. Listen to their concerns and be prepared to answer questions they may come up with. Also, keep them informed about what steps you are taking to tackle the ongoing challenges.
Making your customers believe in your strength will help you gain their trust, leading to long-term customer loyalty.
3. Try to maintain positive cash flow
Amid these tough times, you might want to keep cash flow management at a higher priority over profitability, especially until things get better. Find ways to ensure you receive payments on time, and if possible, seek advance payment from customers and allow credits to only chosen few. Not only this, strengthen your accounts receivable process as it can help ensure cash is flowing into the business.
Meanwhile, pay attention to supplier payments and avoid delaying payments to prevent the late fee. You may also request suppliers to extend payment terms or due dates. This would not be that much difficult if you have excellent relationships with them.
Implement cost control policies and focus on preserving cash; these strategies will help you keep moving forward.
4. Keep an eye on feedback
Customer reviews are not only useful for attracting potential customers but can also help with operational and communicational improvements required. Constant monitoring of reviews can help yield valuable insights. For example, you can study about the customers who have provided negative reviews and find out where things went wrong, what was lacking, and dig deep into positive reviews to find what made those customers happy.
For this, you need to ask customers for feedback regularly and use them to assess products, services, operational efficiency, and improve all these.
5. Acquire smart technology, work smarter
Though you don’t have control over the market amid the worldwide economic collapse, your operations and how you operate your business is undoubtedly in your charge. In the current times, taking the WFM (work-from-home) approach will support your business continuity plan. For instance, if you allow your employees (that are anyway unable to come to the office due to lockdown and to help stop the coronavirus from spreading) to work from home, you can easily execute operations and continue your business.
This is possible by acquiring technologies as simple as ‘cloud.’ Cloud computing and solutions allow your teams to work on projects collaboratively, ensuring business continuity. This will also ensure the employees are working on a highly secure server that keeps your information safe and sound at all times.
6. Productivity Enhancements
For any business to thrive in both good and bad times, it needs to operate as efficiently as possible. What you can do to work on enhancing your business productivity is first to collect data on how your company was performing before the uncertainty period and compare it with its current performance. For this, you would need to look into historical information about your business.
Besides, you may also conduct virtual business meetings with partners and financial advisors to discuss the same. Talk to your company’s leaders & employees, and share your ideas, ask for their suggestions. Find out what brings you the most business and focus on it, while improving existing operational and organizational strategies.
At last, try to get all the teams on the same page and work together for a common business goal.
7. Risk management
Amid market fluctuations, your business is at a bigger risk of losing its viability. Thus, to keep your business operating continuously well, you need to have effective risk management strategies that can help you avoid falling into the following situations.
- Depending heavily upon a few major customers/clients
- Relying majorly on one supplier
- Relying entirely on one financial source
- Providing credits to non-verified customers/clients
- Not tracking late/pending payments
- Not being able to monitor fraudulent activities
Excellent risk management strategies stand by your side when your business goes through hard times, like the current.
8. Marketing strategy – It’s time for rework
Many businesses are likely to pull down their advertising campaigns due to several reasons, such as – budget restraints. But, you can take this as an opportunity to engage with more people by market yourself.
You would not even need to spend a lot on marketing and advertising; market your brand online and on social media platforms. This can turn out to be the cheapest and the smartest marketing campaign for your business, resulting in more product & service related queries with less investment.
Revamping your marketing strategies according to the market climate, may help you gain potential customers, even in times of economic distress.
9. Get help from experts
As you cannot be an expert at everything, it would be better to have experts with you, especially in bad times. Companies are working with a business model called – outsourcing. Such companies can bring a considerable change in your business and support it amid marketplace uncertainties.
They can work on your projects, core business functions, and back-office operations virtually and pretty much efficiently. You may begin with acquiring as small as their bookkeeping services and see the difference. The biggest advantage of having industry experts working for you is that you would get quality work and only pay for the job done for you.
Concluding this piece of writing with the fact that any business demands collaborative efforts. Economic downturns are usually temporary, and you might have funds in the future less or more than you expected, but expertise and teamwork will have their significance in making wiser use of sufficient funds and increasing the number of capital in case it’s less. Also, as a business owner, you need to invest your time and efforts more on business efficiency, performance, and productivity to get the desired outcomes.
However, in the current situation, it might become challenging for you to do the same, while you might also be dealing with staff shortage problems. If so, you need not worry. Cogneesol is here to help. We are one of the leading outsourcing companies, providing quality accounting & bookkeeping services to our clients in varying business lines across multiple industries for more than 13 years now.
Moreover, to help businesses manage their budgets, we are currently offering our specialized services at affordable costs. To know more about us and our services, contact us today. Call at +1 646 688 2821 or email at [email protected].
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