Guest article from Comera Professional, who provide our building community with finance and business support
As we’re sure you’re all aware, Coronavirus is causing serious disruption to businesses across the world. The sudden introduction of social distancing and ‘stay at home’ orders has affected us all. The government has introduced measures to help (and we can give you free advice on those) but at the moment your focus will understandably be on getting through the next few months.
The good news is that often the secret to survival is getting the simple things right. That’s why our partners at Comera Professional have put together a list of four top tips from their marketing and financial consultancy team for getting through the Coronavirus pandemic:
We don’t need to tell you that your customers are at the heart of your business. Even though they may not be able to buy your services right now, we can’t overemphasise the importance of staying in touch, even if that means just giving them a quick call to check up on them. This will keep you at the front of their mind and make sure you’re still their first port of call when things return to normality.
A happy customer is a loyal customer and, even though business may be slower than usual, a focus on service will go a long way towards retaining business. This means keeping in touch and going the extra mile to understand what’s important to them. Have you considered consultations via webinar? These are a great way to get the ball rolling on a project even when you can’t meet your client face to face.
When resources are tight, you need to be focusing on your best customers. This means that, if your relationship isn’t profitable, if they aren’t paying their bills or if they are just a nightmare to work with, you should seriously consider whether you continue that relationship. Alternatively, where a client isn’t profitable now but you see some future potential, take the time to understand their needs and whether you can help them in other ways going forward.
The first step to doing this is making a thorough list of all your expenses (both direct and indirect). Then consider cutting the “discretionary” (non-essential costs). If you have employees, make sure to involve them at this stage as they’ll often have valuable suggestions for making your spending more efficient.
In the longer term, you’ll need to assess all your costs, working out the cost-benefit of all of them and making cuts accordingly. You might also consider which markets you’re targeting, whether you can subcontract some parts of your work and how you remunerate your employees.
We believe that businesses can emerge stronger from this pandemic but, to do so, they’ll need to ask the tough questions of what can be done differently and how they can adapt. Business owners will need to balance the medium and long-term impacts of the virus with the need to stay afloat in the short term. The good news: You’re not alone. We can offer you a free one-hour session to discuss your situation. To book your session, click here.
Jo from HBXL: If you’d like to chat to us about the services Comera Professional provide, give the HBXL team a call on 0117 916 7898. We are currently offering a number of free ‘Power Hour’ sessions with our partners, including The Better Business Group who can help you charge more for your work and go after new, more profitable customers.