Safeguard Your (Small) Business for a Bad Economy

In these troubling economic times where making money gets harder and harder there is one thing a business shouldn’t do and that is “just riding the storm.” Instead a business should try to put their “bow into the wind” and try to safeguard the business for things to come (and in a bad economy they will come.) Everyone knows the Boy Scouts catch phrase “Be prepared” and this is just the thing every business should do!

Dead Weight
Letting people go is never pleasant, especially in a small business where everyone knows everyone else. But big companies feel no qualms about it; neither should you! We’re talking about survival here. It is the task of the helmsman to do what is best for the survival of the business. Ask yourself the following question “What is worse, one person loosing its job or everybody loosing their jobs?”

Take a hard look at the people who are working for your business and fire the once who are doing nothing, especially the once who are slacking off at their job. (Doing nothing doesn’t mean that they are not willing to work, maybe there are no new orders for them to fulfill, but you should loose them anyway. You can always hire new people if the business is picking up again.) It all may seem harsh to you, but this is how businesses work; no new orders, no work, people will loose their jobs! We have written nothing new here.

Business Systems
Take a hard look at the business systems in your company. Can you alter one of these processes or procedures, so it will work even better? Can something be automated? Are there new instructions needed? Is there enough work for everyone? Can there be money saved? Does every employee do what he or she supposed to do?

One task of the helmsman is to insure that everything is running smoothly and is carried out as efficiently as possible. If it’s not, YOU should do something about it!

Service, Service, Service
Good customer service is the key to repetitive business. If customers aren’t correctly helped with their problems they will look for another business next time they need something.

A good customer service delivers a personalized service, so please lose the scripts. Nothing is worse then a customer service rep that is reading of a script. The only thing that is needs to be scripted is how someone picks up the phone and how someone signs off. (Everybody that works at customer’s service should pick up and sign off with the same sentence.)

Make sure the customer service is skilled and knows what they are talking about. They should also be motivated, nothing is worse then someone mumbling or only listening half to a problem that someone has. They should also have the authority to take decisions, even if it will cost you business some money (to a certain degree of course.) This way they handle and fix problem for customers much easier.

Remember a happy customer always returns!

In Conclusion
Shifting economies will change the mindset of the customers for instance their attitudes and priorities change. People may not be willing to spend money or are putting of large purchases. All these things will in turn affect your business. You should try to prepare your business for these changes before it is too late! So don’t wait until tomorrow, but start today.

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