The Modern Small Business Survival Guide – Thriving in Harsh Economic Times
If you were to look hard at the global economy, you would be presented with a far from ideal landscape. With unemployment rates reaching upwards of 50% in countries such as Greece and the global manufacturing industry experiencing a significant downturn, both advanced and emerging economies are struggling to sustain their growth.
Despite small businesses, home based enterprise and start-up ventures being promoted as key factors in driving economic growth, however, the fact remains that more than 200,000 independent firms have failed in the U.S. since 2008. While this does not necessarily prove the prevailing theory, it means that small business owners must strive hard to find innovative and sustainable ways to evolve.
Surviving as a Small Firm in 2012: 3 Steps for Success
So how does innovation and creative thinking translate into practical survival advice? Consider the following: -
The Cloud as an Accessible Money Saving Tool: When outsourcing first emerged as a viable business tool, it was restricted primarily to the world of IT. Over time, however, it evolved into a far more widespread practice encompassing sales, marketing and even basic administration tasks. With cloud technology now existing as a free and accessible software option that allows small businesses to employ an entirely flexible and affordable work force, there is an even greater opportunity to save money and protect your long term business interests.
Minimize Operational Costs Rather than Eliminating Marketing: When a small business is faced with recession, its first port of call is often to cut non-operational functions from the budget. This is a short sighted approach, however, as by eliminating tasks such as marketing and brand promotion from your budget it is impossible to evolve and take on new work. The key is to instead minimize operational costs where possible, and by focusing on reducing energy bills and the annual burden of office landline and mobile contracts you can continue to trade and solicit new business simultaneously.
Retaining Staff and Clients Effectively: Regardless of whether you employ 1 or 30 members of staff, it is important to retain your top talent if you are to survive. The same applies to clients, as consistent and repeat business is one of the cornerstones of long term commercial success. It is not simply enough to offer financial incentives in the modern age, as individuals have a far greater appreciation of the world and their role within it. Instead, focus on improving your reliability as an employer and service provider, and prioritize outstanding communication as your key weapon as a small but ambitious business.
The Bottom Line for The Modern Small Business Survival
These steps can help your business to consolidate during a period of prolonged recession, while also laying the foundation for long term growth. With the world economy expected to be significant decline for up to 5 years, it is critical that small, independent business owners act now to strengthen their venture and embrace a more prosperous future
Author Bio: This article was contributed by Lewis Humphries, on behalf of Carfinance247, which is one the leading UK providers of automotive financing.