So, what should small business owners be doing to position their companies for what appears to be slower economic growth for the remainder of this year?
First and foremost, do not panic.
Small business owners need to remember that the economy always goes through its ups and downs, so doing a major layoff or cutting back dramatically on oneâs advertising and marketing budgets, those kinds of moves typically do not make good financial sense.
As one who runs a small business, think about the following:
* Manpower – Whether in good financial times or not, having the right size staff in place is very important. If you find that finances are dictating you need to cut some people, look at a few options. First, how would your business be impacted if you lost some people? Would it impact the services you provide to customers? Secondly, would those remaining employees be asked to take on added responsibilities while still receiving the same salary they are now? If so, will that create some morale issues in the office? One option before cutting is talking to those you are thinking of letting go, seeing if they would stay on at a reduced salary and possibly decreased benefits or picking up more of the tab to continue receiving benefits;
* Promotions – One of the biggest gaffes small business owners make when the economy gets challenging is cutting back on their advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns. The thinking is oftentimes that competitors are doing the same, so it is a safe time to trim this area of business. Actually, it is probably the worst time to do it, as some competitors are doing just the opposite. While there may be times you need to trim such budgets here and there, never go into a full-scale cut, because you will likely miss out on potential sales. Instead of trimming your main promotional budgets, look to do more with free promotion vehicles such as blog posts and social media;
* Future – Undoubtedly, tough economic times will pass for many who run small businesses, so it comes down to a matter of surviving the difficult stretches, allowing you to prosper when things improve. You should always be thinking growth and not contraction as you look at the big picture. What can you do to grow more with the resources you presently have? How can your company pull itself away from the pack and give customers something no one else can? Finally, how can you as a business owner safely guide your company through some stormy financial seas, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel? Always be thinking about what the next step takes to grow your business;
* Past – Finally, never forget where you started from and where you are now. In order to be a successful business owner going forward, you need to learn from your past mistakes. Whether it was some bad hires or layoffs, some bad investments, or even spending too much money for products and services needed for you to run your company, never make the same mistake twice.
As a small business owner, what are you doing to make your company as economically sound as possible in 2013?
Photo credit: mozy.com
About the Author: With 23 yearsâ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers small business topics for a variety of websites, including Reputation.com.