No matter what your business is, you are likely to have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak Covid-19. As a result, your business activities have probably reduced or even been suspended for the time being until the crisis is over.
At this difficult time, you should consider it an opportunity to reassess the aspects of your organisation such as the operations and the financial outgoings. By taking these considerations, you will effectively put your business in a better footing coming out of a crisis.
If you are a business owner, here are 5 questions to ask yourself regarding your business during a downturn;
1) Has Your Marketing Campaigns Generated Results?
Marketing is essential for any business, but especially for those that rely on the internet to generate leads and/or sales. At a time when your business operations are quiet, it is important to review all of your marketing campaigns for the previous year to understand what worked and what did not.
You can gauge what marketing channels generated the most leads and more importantly, what channel created the most revenue for your business. This will help you better understand where efforts going forward will see the best returns for your marketing budget. For example, you may find that social media activities are generating a lot of leads but only 5% actually turned into sales. On the other hand search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) campaigns resulted resulted in 10% less leads than social media marketing but generated 40% more sales.
This type of analysis will help you to better understand how effective your marketing budget has been and where your spend has been wasted.
2) Is Outsourcing Work Costing Your Business Money?
When sources of revenue dries up for a small business, it is time to look at where expenditure cuts can be made. Are you outsourcing any aspect of your business? Do you outsource your marketing to an external company? Perhaps you use an accounting firm to outsource your payroll and bookkeeping to free up admin work for your business.
When mulling over the value of outsourcing operations of your business to another company, you could consider whether:
- You could an employee part time or full time
- Hire someone in house to take over a role
- Get quotes from alternative companies
3) Software Alternatives That Are Better For Your Needs?
Today a lot of companies use at least one form of software for business operations. When business has slowed down, it could be the right time to consider if you are paying too much for a software solution and if there is an alternative that you could use.
Some of the software solutions that you could consider changing could include:
- Marketing automation
- Accounting and payroll Software
- Cyber security Suite
As a result of circumstances where your employees may have to work remotely, you may have to invest in other software solutions for remote work like conference calling software or collaboration software.
4) Are You Paying Too Much For Utilities?
When business is going good, you may not have the time to assess general outgoings such as electricity bills, phone bills and other utility expenses that your business would regularly pay for. Now is the time to get quotations from competitor utility providers in order to save your business some money.
Some utility companies may offer you initial discounts to save you money. Reducing such outgoings will certainly help your business to survive through a crisis.
5) Are You Paying Too Much for Rent?
While most of the world is in lock-down and working from home has now become a new norm, you could consider if you are paying too much rent. At this time you could either negotiate your monthly rent fee or look at the local market for office alternatives.
For retail businesses, rent is a big factor for outgoings and by paying too much rent, your profit margins will be squeezed. You must also factor whether you are paying too much because of your location or paying too much rent because of the size of the premises you are renting.
In a difficult time for a small business owner, it is essential, that you take stock of your current situation, consider what is benefiting your business and what is not. Finally, looking at your business finances, particularly outgoings are essential for your business in going forward after the crisis is over.