Small businesses drive economic growth. According to the Small Business Administration, they create 67% of net new jobs and account for 44% of U.S. economic activity. But periods of crisis can be especially hard on SMBs.
You may not have the resources for a risk management team or complex contingency planning. But you can handle business crisis management and keep key stakeholders happy with the right strategies.
1. Keep your customers happy
Keeping your customers happy may not have been at the top of your business continuity plan or crisis management plan, but it’s crucial. Your cash flow can remain steady (or even increase!) during times of crisis if you deliver products and services as promised.
After all, the turmoil won’t last forever. When it’s over, you want to have your established customer base intact.
2. Cut back on expenses & turn on new revenue streams
Managing your business accounts and cutting back on spending may seem like an obvious suggestion and for good reason. Lower expenses can mean more revenue to fund your business. To reduce expenses, you might:
- Look at your current and past budgets.
- Identify potential areas of financial inefficiency.
- Consider how cuts will impact your business.
- Temporarily pause internal projects.
- Find ways to automate processes to free up employee time.
Ideally, you’ll be proactive about cutting your expenses before a crisis hits. But if you’re in the midst of it, now is the perfect time to examine your spending and optimize your finances. Look for ways to increase profitability in the short- medium- and long-term by finding business practices that generate the greatest revenue.
Consider other ways to optimize business finances, such as maximizing cash management. Treasure can help. With a Treasure account, you get a cash management solution that can help to carry you through the lean times.
3. Talk with employees
Your team needs direction, so they know how their jobs fit into the overall picture. Talk with staff about what happened and what they need from management to recover quickly. The goal is to work with your team to get things back on track without sacrificing quality too much (if at all).
4. Ask for help
Look outside your organization for support during periods of turmoil. You might get help from vendors or other business owners who may have dealt with similar crisis situations in their own companies. Depending on the level and type of crisis, help may be available from the government, your local community or the area chamber of commerce.
5. Employ strategic marketing practices
Keeping your current customers happy is key, but strategic marketing practices can bring in new customers and open up your company’s cash flow.
Periods of uncertainty are as good a time as any to redefine your marketing and advertising practices. For example, you could open up a customer loyalty program with extra discounts and VIP customer service perks.
6. Stay calm
It can be tempting to close your doors and hide from the world when facing business crisis management, but that won’t improve your situation. By staying calm and focusing on the facts, you can limit the damage and use the opportunity to capitalize on financial trends and improve your company.
Small business owners have a reputation for being resourceful, and that's a good thing. If a crisis hits your small business, you'll need to do more than just keep your head above water — you'll need to make smart decisions to keep your company going.