5 Ways to Take Advantage of a Dip in BusinessMay 17 2016, 0 Comments
For the majority of businesses in any sector, a slowdown in trade is unfortunately a likely occurrence. This can occur due to seasonality, error in judgements or even circumstances that you have zero influence over such as a poor economy.
A dip in sales or even footfall, brings about an opportunity to strengthen your business and reflect on your operation and foundations in order to turn your fortunes around. So to give you a helping hand in how to objectively rejuvenate your deterring situation, we’ve listed 5 ways you can make the most of the lull.
Streamline Your Setup
One of the disadvantages to success and being highly busy is that it is tricky to find the time to assess and review your procedures. As the decline has set in, it is crucial that you take the time to improve your processes wherever possible. A great deal of business owner’s have extreme difficulty in finding that balance between growing and actually managing that growth, due to the demands of the expansion. So here is where you can take advantage of the dip and take the time to look for efficiencies to evaluate what you’re doing.
Get innovative. Take the time to speak to your employees and gain feedback on what they think could be changed to improve their working lives as well as the overall business setup. There could be tools out there that will save the business and your staff a lot of time. Look for ways to implement technology in your business to improve your marketing, advertising, operating systems and on going maintenance. Its effective here to be really open, honest and detached. If the slump isn’t seasonal then there are things that you could be doing better so don’t be blind to the fact that you need to improve.
Review Your Financial Position
There will be times where a drop in revenue perfectly coincides with a drop in company expenses. For example, you might get funds for a job upfront but then have to fork out for the materials for the job. However, thankfully accounts receivable continue to convert into cash as invoices are paid out, it means when you’re faced with a scenario such as this, you are still in a healthy position.
This puts you in a strong position, despite the overall decreased in revenue. With a greater cash balance, it allows you to quickly take advantage of any opportunities that arise, such as taking on new clients or gathering new stock. It always helps to keep a detailed log of your finances so you know exactly where you’re up to. Using accounting software effectively allows you to analyse your business and identify your overall health at these slower times so you can assess your next steps.
Build Future Sales
In some cases, you might be experiencing a dip because you have only looked at the short term situation. When the cash is flowing and those orders are flooding in, managing that surge takes up a lot of people’s time and they forget to look past this. Building and optimizing a sales and marketing strategy so that you can maintain a constant stream of income is good business practice.
Therefore, during your dip you should capitalise on it and see it as the ideal time to organise your efforts. It is important to learn from your mistakes, so if this is what tripped you up in the first place, then don’t repeat your error when business picks back up.
With lowering amounts of orders coming in, it also gives you the time to revisit old clients or put extra time into existing ones. Relationships are the foundations of any success business so by using that time to go the extra mile, it will benefit you in the long run for referrals to new companies and mainly for keeping a loyal client base.
Take A Break
This may not seem like the most productive of plans but taking a break is a necessary part of life. If the dip is down to seasonality, then take that time to take some time off to recover, de-stress and prepare for the peak period that is on the horizon. It is scientifically proven that taking a break away from work, improves your health, productivity and gets those creative juices following so ensure you take the opportunity to look after yourself.
Assess What You Have
If this slowdown is in fact economical or structural, its time to get pro-active. If you had to bring in more people to cover a busier period, then consider whether you can afford to keep them all and whether you actually need them. Consider cutting your overheads by stripping back some hours as well or even negotiating more attractive rates with your contractors. You may also be able to negotiate more lucrative terms with your suppliers.
If cash flow continues to be a sore point, then consider bank credits or short term loans to ensure you meet your costs until work increases once more.
A dip in sales is never a happy time for you or your business but don’t sit there in self pity. Use the time to conduct an in-depth evaluation of your business and the targets you have. Identify where you went wrong and put measures in place so it won’t happen again.
By going away and reflecting on these mentioned points, you can successfully turn your slump around. Seize the opportunity and don’t waste any time. This period could prove to be the most beneficial, challenging and rewarding time in your career and as a business owner it is up to you to make the change to turn things around.