Crises. They come whether global or local, your small business will encounter a crisis at one time or another but how can you rebuild when you have been brought to your knees? The first step is to stand up and brush off the dust from your knees and prepare to put the first brick back in place.
Let’s look at six ways to rebuild your business.
1. Assess your finances
Look at your current sales, cash flow and profits. When you have these figures compare them to last year or the year before and see how you are doing. You may be surprised by how much or how little the difference between the two years is.
This is looking at the hard cash, but you also need to look at what has happened between the years to see if there are things that could have influenced the difference. They could be layoffs, or you may have had to downscale your advertising or marketing budgets.
If you need help to navigate your finances, there are some options available to guide you:
- NSBC’s COVID business relief and recovery centre has many options to help you through the current COVID crisis from low-interest loans to encouragement through webinars and e-publications.
- The South African government has some schemes available to help businesses to get back on their feet.
- Profitshare’s Get South Africa Working campaign gives SMEs an opportunity to enter a competition to win a portion of R100 million to help your SME to grow.
2. Review your business plan
With a crisis, your environment and industry may have changed substantially since you drew up your business plan. You may have had to pivot your business during the crisis or open new avenues of income. With the crisis coming to an end, can you go back to your original business plan or do you need to adopt some of the new business processes into your original plan? To decide, you can look at what is happening with your competitors and what are the latest trends in your industry? You may find new opportunities in this research. A crisis may have also brought to light some of the strengths and weaknesses within your business. Continue to build on the strengths and review your weaknesses and work on improving them.
You should also review your business goals and make any adjustments. Some goals may be irrelevant in the new circumstance you find your business, or you may need to extend the goal a little bit.
3. Choose your funding wisely
Do you need an injection of cash to help you get your business back on its feet? If so, what funding do you want to use? There are a wide variety of ways to fund your business and you need to find the best option for you. Before you investigate funding opportunities, you need to review your business’ and your credit score to see how likely it is that you will receive funding.
4. Create a budget
Look at your business core and see what you need to keep it running? Now is the time to cut the fat out of your budget and focus on the essence of what makes your business successful. Try to avoid monetary waste and focus on those things which help to increase the revenue of your business.
5. Design a timeline
In a crisis, many areas of your business may have been affected and you may feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks you need to do to get back into business. Write down all the tasks you need to do and rank them in order of importance. At the start, try to focus on those tasks which will bring in revenue. Review your timeline every week to make sure you are heading towards your goal. When your business has stabilised, you can start to review your timeline monthly rather than weekly.
6. Learn from the crisis
Finally, while in the crisis, you were in battle mode. Now that it is over, you need to review the lessons you learnt in the battle. Try to keep a record of what worked well and what didn’t. You can also try to consider other scenarios which you may encounter and apply the lessons you learned to those scenarios and the plans you had to overcome them.
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