The world of business is notoriously cutthroat and unforgiving. Even the best entrepreneurs find themselves falling on hard times now and then.
When this happens, it can be the beginning of a self-perpetuating cycle, one in which the stresses of a struggling business make it difficult for the owner to motivate themselves to get back on their feet. It is therefore important to have a strategy in place for dealing with these issues should they arise.
The first thing you need to do when you realiseyour business is struggling is to take stock of the situation. This means assessing exactly what the current state of your business is, and how it got into this state. You won’t be able to work on setting things right if you aren’t completely honest with yourself about the situation you are currently in.
Go over your books and records so you can pinpoint exactly where this downturn began and see if you can identify any direct causes or contributing factors. Armed with these, you will find it much easier to formulate a rescue strategy. In some cases, there won’t be a clear cause. Market forces are often unpredictable, sometimes business slows down, even when you are doing everything right.
Plan Your Finances
Once you have collected all your records, make as detailed a breakdown as you can of your current finances. For many entrepreneurs, there will be little if any distinction between your personal finances, and those earmarked for your business. With your financial breakdown in hand, the next thing you need to do is work out what your monthly outgoings are.
As you are working out your expenses, be on the lookout for any that you might be able to reduce, or eliminate entirely. There will always be some unavoidable expenses associated with doing business, but there are others which allow for more flexibility than most entrepreneurs realise. If you are running your business from home, for example, you can reduce your monthly bills by simply ensuring that you turn all your lights and electronic appliances off when they aren’t being used.
You should aim to work out how long you can afford to stay afloat for. Don’t panic at the answer, no matter what it is. It is important to know just what you’re dealing with. It can be tempting to avoid looking for answers which will only add to your stress, but this is not going to change the facts. You may have to make some very difficult choices, such as laying off staff, or downgrading your premises, but difficult as these choices may be, they are necessary.
If you are in need of funding immediately, and you can’t afford to wait for cost-cutting measures to take effect, there are several options open to you. A struggling business might find it harder to secure a loan through the usual routes. However, a guarantor loan from a leading guarantor loan lender like TrustTwo could be an answer. Because there is a guarantor, someone who will pay back the loan if you are unable to, lenders will be less concerned with your current situation.
Put Your Health First
It is understandable that those who start their own businesses feel an inclination to protect them at all costs. When a business begins to struggle, and the reality of the situation kicks in, business owners start to feel the pinch. Stress, anxiety, and depression are all psychological conditions, but they can have a serious effect on your physical health as well.
No matter how much you love your business, it isn’t worth sacrificing your health for. If you allow your health to deteriorate, emotionally or physically, you will naturally find it more difficult to resolve your current situation. Managing deteriorating health, while also trying to revive a struggling business, rarely ends well. If you notice that your health is getting worse, it is vital that you let your doctor know.
Streamline Your Operations
Every now and then, it is a good idea to take a good look at your business and how it operates so that you can identify any areas where efficiency can be improved. Inefficiencies cost businesses money, both directly and indirectly. They directly waste money by encouragingor even requiring unnecessary spending. They indirectly waste your money by taking up time that could be better and more productively spent elsewhere.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Many entrepreneurs develop a very strong sense of independence. This is a necessary skill for those hoping to make it in business, but it can sometimes lead to an unwillingness to seek help, even when it’s needed. Whether you turn to your co-workers for help forming a strategy, or you turn to your friends for emotional support,
Running a business isn’t easy. It is inevitable that some days will be more challenging than others. If your business falls on hard times, the most important thing to remember is that your health and well-beingalways come first.