The past few years have probably been the most difficult years for your new and young business. The effects of a pandemic, economic changes, the credit squeeze and recession can become a big problem and make it difficult for businesses to progress. But as business owners, we cannot give up on circumstances and must keep our business alive.
We need to learn how to survive in difficult economic conditions and continue to develop accordingly. Splitting the two focuses between how to survive and how to grow is a challenging task but it’s still possible to do. That's why we need to know about business survival tips in 2023.
What is survival and growth in business?
The survival of business is when your revenue barely covers expenses. You will still be in survival mode if your growing rate of inflation is 2-3% per annum. If a business continues to be in survival mode for a long time, then they will go out of business.
While growth is the long-term survival of a business by means of fund investments, drives profit and business performance, attracts new talent, brand awareness, and any efforts to make the business grow.
Growth is necessary for every business, because it allows you to employ more staff, expand products or services, attract more customers, and take advantage of new opportunities. If you are out of survival mode, you can respond to market demand, capitalize on your brand, and increase your market share. Growth does not run by itself. You need to have a business survival strategy, business plan, and run it in a sustainable manner.
What is most important for survival of business?
Shifting from survival mode to growth mode takes a fair amount of time and effort. Every entrepreneur must find their position and know some of the important factors that make them survive.
- Know where you stand
Survival mode means tightening profit margins, saving cash, cutting costs, and sometimes you need to lay off employees. Unlike the growth mode which expands their operations, adds employees, and reinvests profits. But growth mode also requires brainstorms with long-term payoffs. You need to know the current position of your business whether it is at a safe level or is it worrying. If you feel that too many resources are wasted, then you must immediately find the problem point and minimize resource wastage.
There are several checklists that can be used as a reference whether your company is still in survival mode or not. Is the company's cash flow break-even? does the company have credit lines or existing cash that can be used for growth? Are there always new discussions for business development with existing staff?
If you can answer all these questions, then you are in a good spot and ready to start developing.
- Focus on staff development
Every staff must have a collective mindset to continue to grow and not be stuck in the same position. If your business is shifting to growth mode, then staff need to change their performance by adopting a proactive attitude, not stopping learning new things, and taking part in providing suggestions during meetings. You cannot force some of these things on every staff, but you can give them training or courage by giving them a positive attitude.
- Know why you need to survive
Business survival must have a strong reason. Even though the recession is a pretty good reason, it can't be the main reference for why you have to keep moving and growing your business. Brainstorm with staff to assess your company's strengths and weaknesses, let staff provide their educated opinions for the common good.
One of the biggest mistakes is business owners who are rigid and don't want to hear staff's opinion about what steps should be taken for the company in long-term measures. Each staff has their own input for what can be improved in the company, and this can become a shared spirit to build the company and stay alive.
Top 10 business survival tips
Here are some tips for those of you who are in survival mode and are struggling with the staff to ensure your business is running well to grow.
- Have a business plan
A business plan must always be in every business and constantly reviewed. A business plan is like a route map to help business owners go in the direction they want. A good plan must have targets and a track record of whether your business stays on track. With a business plan, business owners will always be forced to think about the next step and what makes the business different from other similar businesses.
- Measure every numbers
Every business owner must understand the key numbers in their business. Not only about finances, but also quantitative measures, such as numbers of inquiries, conversion rates, website traffic, capital for advertisements, etc. Great measuring numbers can be good records and understand critical key performance indicators when you want to grow your business.
- Good time management
There are many time management tools that you can use to find out which tasks are urgent and which are non-urgent, try to get all of your staff to use the same tools so that the direction of the plan can be in accordance with what you want. Good time managers can become great routines and be followed by all staff. Don't let you or stagg do many things at the same time, and complete tasks one by one without being overwhelmed.
- Differentiate yourself
Every business always has something in common with other businesses. Make your business unique by differentiating in the services, products, or after sales section. It's not an easy process, but you can start by asking for feedback from customers to improve service and product quality, and brainstorm with staff what marketing steps you want to take to differentiate between your business and competitors.
- Look for references from successful business men
Looking for good people around you, like someone who is already successful in their field, can be your step for business survival. You need to hear their stories about how to deal with problems, how to survive, and how to thrive in tough competition with competitors. Don't hesitate to take part in seminars or add relationships for your additional knowledge in doing business.
- Audit your business
Even though everything is going according to plan, you must still have a neutral outsider to see whether your business is developing positively or negatively. You can hire a professional auditor like Smebrother who can give you the best advice on how you can survive and move forward on the track you plan.
- Go online
Technological developments require us to do business online. Make an online presence such as a website or social media, because every customer will see whether or not the company is trusted based on their social media and websites. There are many platforms that you can use for free to introduce your products and services, paid or free.
- Manage the cash
Cash is crucial in business. Conserving your cash is necessary if you feel that the money is tight and it seems that the business is not running as it should. Keep an eye on expenses and watch for possible unnecessary costs.
- Work as a team
Running a business doesn't have to only come from your own mind. You can brainstorm with staff, find out their suggestions and criticisms so you can have many perspectives on how you run your business. Take a mutual agreement to achieve success, and research together possible problems that arise and immediately deal with them carefully. Maintaining communication between the owner and staff can trigger higher morale.
- Always improve
Every great business leader will never stop learning and improvising. Set aside some time to learn new things that suit your products and services, invite some of your staff to upgrade their skills. You don't need to do it every day, but you have to do it at least once a month. By learning new things, you can prepare long-term plans and invest in self-improvement.