(Last in a four-part series)
In this installment I’m continuing with strategies to help you weather a recession or market downturn.
Review your costs (53-59)
When you’re super busy and the money is rolling in it’s easy to let costs balloon. Now is a good time to review your expenses.
- Review all of your vendors and what you’re paying them each month. Ask yourself if you actually need or are even using their particular service.
- Negotiate a better deal. Can you get a discount by paying cash or by paying within 30 days or in advance? Is there a lower cost level of service that will still suit your needs? Or if you need 60- or 90-day terms, see if you can negotiate a lower interest rate than you’re currently paying—see if you can pay zero interest.
- Unneeded subscriptions. Go through your bank and credit card statements and look for subscriptions, services, apps or anything else you’re subscribed to. Decide whether you actually need them.
- Phone plans. Mobile and regular phone companies are notorious for making lower cost, better plans available but only telling you about it if you contact them and ask or try to cancel. Contact them to find out if they have something better to offer.
- Insurance. Review it all: auto, building, liability, etc. and make sure you’re not over-insured or under-insured. If it’s been a while since you’ve done this it may be time to get competing quotes.
- Review your lease or rental agreement. When a market downturn occurs, it becomes more difficult to find commercial tenants. If your lease is coming up for renewal any time in the next 12 months you may be able to negotiate a better deal.
- Be your own lender. It’s important to have lines of credit available but depending on the finance charges you may be better off financing your own line of credit. In other words, if you have the cash reserves you may be able to avoid borrowing altogether.
Growing virtually (60-64)
Most office tasks can be done virtually. Hire a remote employee or a virtual professional who operates as an independent contractor.
- Phones. Having a virtual receptionist to either answer all your phone calls or take overflow calls can result in more sales and better customer service.
- Bookkeeping. All of your bookkeeping and accounting can be done offsite because it’s digital information. (Or it should be. If you’re still doing your books on paper this is a big area where you can cut costs by being more efficient.)
- Project managing. Scheduling, ordering products, customer questions and anything else your project manager handles can be done remotely.
- Marketing. Anything marketing related can be done remotely. My company, Flooring Success Systems, provides marketing services, including past customer marketing, Facebook marketing, online review acquisition and promotion, lead capture and follow up, referral partnership creation and more—and we do it all remotely.
- Graphic design. There’s no reason you have to have a graphic designer work on site
Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information visit FlooringSuccessSystems.com.