It’s been a mighty tough 2 years for businesses worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, for some industries harder than others. If your business did take a knock, especially during the on-again-off-again lockdowns, do keep in mind that building it back up again is going to take a bit of time. However, with that being said, there are some practical things you can do to strengthen your business in 2022 and future-proof it for the post-covid world (eventually).
Keep a closer eye on your finances
Many small businesses don’t have clue where they stand financially. We get it, running a business takes a lot of time and effort. If you’re not a numbers person, you’re also very unlikely to invest much time in analysing the numbers. However its very important to properly assess your turnover, margins and nett profits.
Turnover – the overall sales your business made over a time period
Margins – the percentage of each sale that is profit
Nett Profit – the total turnover less expenses for a given period
Invest in marketing that makes a real impact
What sort of marketing actually works for your business? When money is tight, marketing simply cannot be put on hold…in fact, it becomes more important than ever before. Instead of pouring money into expensive PR campaigns, invest in low-cost, low-risk and high-impact marketing like social media marketing and content marketing. The two work hand-in-hand together and finding an experienced freelancer to take that on is actually a lot more cost-effective than hiring an expensive agency or in-house marketer where the costs start at upwards of R25k.
Keep an eye on trends
Staying abreast of current trends will make sure you don’t get left in the dust. What products and services are in demand? Does the way your business does things need to change to accommodate the changing landscape.
Never stop learning
As the business landscape continually changes and the skills you need to be successful adapt, it’s important to invest in ongoing training and employee development. Platforms like Udemy offer short and affordable courses to brush up your skills in a number of key areas.
Keep your staff motivated
Your staff are key to the success of your business. It’s important to keep them motivated and happy. Have an open door policy where they can always come to you with their concerns and make the atmosphere in the office a happy one. Think up fun things for them to look forward to like Friday cake day or month-end brunches.
Delegate things you’re not good at
As much as we wish we could be, we can’t be good at everything. If you’re not great at sales, hire a sales manager. If finances leave you frustrated, outsource to a bookkeeper. Focus on what you’re good at and delegate the rest.
You can’t be full steam ahead 365 days of the year. Take regular breaks from your business where you can to come back refreshed and energised with new ideas, otherwise you risk burnout.
Expand when it’s the right time
Is your office too small? Warehouse bursting at the seams? Perhaps it’s time to look into expanding your business either with more employees, a bigger premises or more stock.