Be the Small Business That Makes It Through Hard Times

Staying Focused in Hard Times: Tips for Small Business Owners

Is your business facing hard times? A great many businesses went under during the disruptions that began in 2020, and many more have seen a drastic reduction in revenue. Even if your business is doing well, it pays to plan ahead for challenges yet to come – as you surely will face hardship at some point in the future.

Hard Times Make Strong Businesses

An iconic scene from the movie “Forrest Gump” illustrates what can happen to a business that persists when other companies fold. The main character’s shrimp business is suffering, and they are nearly destroyed by a hurricane. Afterward, they begin to have incredible success as one of the few shrimp boats to survive the storm.

Reduce Dependency, Build Resilience

If you have been dependent on debt to build your business or to cover a shortfall, hard times can induce panic. To build resilience, you need to simplify business operations and focus on your core competency. If you save money by eliminating software, phone lines, or subscriptions you don’t need, and save time by streamlining your systems, you can devote more resources to selling and delivering your core product or service.

Taking on debt assumes that both your business and the economy overall will be doing better in the future, when you are expected to pay back the debt. However, in uncertain times it may be harder to find anyone willing to lend. Worse, existing debts can be called for full repayment when there is stress on the banks.

A better plan during times of economic uncertainty is to focus on building value in your community while keeping costs low, so that as things improve you are well positioned to grow.

Strong Businesses Survive

Do you have a strong business? If not, what weaknesses can you begin to improve right away? Don’t be tempted to blame your struggles on external factors. Accept the challenge and build your business to withstand hard times.