The General Election, Brexit, Falling UK Sterling and lower consumer confidence across the UK has made a perfect storm of negativity with small to medium sized businesses seeing lowering sales and profit in last couple of months.
We've seen this is with many of our clients. (Why is your current accountant not telling you this?) And this worrying trend may last longer as the summer months arrive and peoples' focus switches to holiday and spending less money as they keep hearing about inflation and other scary words they don't understand.
So with that in mind how does a small / medium sized business keep growing or, at the very least, keep the money coming same as previously?
Well at Tax Affinity Accountants we've been helping business through many recessions / downturns and believe in giving useful real time support and advice to small and medium sized businesses. And with this in mind the tried and tested list below will help:
1. Go where the money is - be adaptable and look to see what is selling and sell more of that and stock less that which is in less demand. If its a different product or service that you don't offer consider adding this.
2. Give the customer what they want not what you want - listen to them and understand them properly and give them what they are looking for. Your customer will tell you how to keep things going in your business. Ask them, remember you have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion.
3. Make an offer they cant refuse - when things are difficult for a client make sure you have offers and special deals like the supermarket and larger traders do to entice them. This may mean offer something at a low price with the plan to sell another product/service that compliments that item and will make more profit.
4. Keep an eye on competition - make sure your business is not lagging behind on the four P's of the marketing mix - Product, Price, Promotion, Place. All four need to be excellent to ensure growth in a downturn.
5. Give away stuff to entice people to keep visiting - This doesn't mean give everything away at a knock down price, but more specifically could mean a good chance to clear out old stock items and have more space by getting rid of it at cost price. The customers get a good deal and you keep the cash-flow coming in.
6. Don't use bad economic conditions as an excuse - stay focused and think positive, don't listen to negative sources of information, look at the positive sources as well. Many large retailers have a positive outlook, its just that media outlets like to dwell on negativity as bad news sells better than good. Compare your business to the bigger companies and see what they are doing and what you can do as well. The Director / CEO that thinks and plans positively is the one that drive their business forward.
By Anni Khan at Tax Affinity Accountants
Tax Affinity Accountants are experts in Tax and Accountancy. Based in Worcester Park and Kingston upon Thames they are considered in the Industry to be expert accountants and tax advisors for small businesses. Helping and supporting contractors and self employed people throughout the UK, they regularly help clients grow their business providing tailored advice.
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