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Recovering From a Tough Business Year

Many businesses, both small and large, can suffer from a bad year or a bad quarter. This might be for several reasons, the economy may have played its part, some of your staff may have left, or you may just be having trouble bringing in the sales. So how do you recover?

Whether you’re a highly experienced business owner or you have only recently started your business you need to be aware of the options available to you when emerging from a tough year. Each year you operate can bring different challenges that you haven’t previously experienced, the following tips can help you keep afloat when times have been hard.

1. Start each year afresh. Whatever has happened has happened, and you need to get yourself back on your feet and carry on. Dwelling on what has been and gone is troublesome as you can find yourself raking over old ground rather than looking forward.

2. Hire new staff. Sometimes new staff can really impact the way your business feels, from the day-to-day running of the office to the amount of sales made. Recruiting new employees can really have a positive effect on your company, but only if you can afford it.

3. Re-locate. Sometimes, the hardest of businesses years will force you to refresh everything about your business, even down to where your business is. Starting over can help you and your employees scrap the past year and start afresh. If you own a shop and sales are going down, relocating can be a positive move.

4. Business debt solution. You may have found that your business year has been tough because your finances are all over the place. A few monthly loan repayments which have been missed could put your business in a troublesome situation. You can get business debt solutions by speaking to insolvency practitioners. They have plenty of experience dealing with getting businesses back on track after financial difficulty.

5. Go online. The online marketplace is where it’s all at, so getting your business online can really boost both your brand and your sales. Hire an expert web designer to give you the best chances of success. Changing and adapting to modern ways will help you to stay in-line with what your customers want and, more importantly, the changing ways of how they shop. Whether you are a small independent business or a large chain, going online will boost your business success, if done correctly.

The Most Important Things In Business

For most business CEOs, the owner position offers more than just one job title. They are in charge of everything, from creation to bookkeeping to management. What every business owner must consider is what is important in business. There are three main principles in business that lead to success, such as being able to communicate purpose, bring innovative and new ideas to the table, and the process of growth. While an owner plays the part of almost every character in their business, they must also be able to manage these important principles of business.

Communicating your strategy and purpose

What comes first in any line of work? Designing your purpose is important, because here you become aware of what your business is all about. It is important to create your story, acknowledging to yourself the business’ creation and letting others know and understand why it is that your business is here to help them.

This is the backbone of your business, and creates the structure by which everything else follows. Picture the human body, if all the parts are set alone, there is no “body.” The purpose is the body of your business, giving it structure and personality.

New and innovative ideas through projects

Now that your business has a basic structure, it is time to add some characteristics. What are you going to do to work towards making your business work? The brain must now think, challenging itself with projects and questioning ideas. This area of business is where you must think and consider what your business needs to do to succeed, creating projects and goals to work towards.

This is the time where you sit down and decide which direction your business needs to go. What projects must be generated, new ideas, and innovations are created to give you a direction in which to move in.

The process of growth

Now that your body has a mind, it is time to grow, carrying out the projects and goals that have been created. Ideas and projects must be sought after and accomplished, helping you to sort out what works and what doesn’t move you forward. This process requires its own specific attention because it is what brings your business to life. Without growth, a business is just a motor-less boat sitting in the middle of a lake.

Here, you bring your innovations together, design a strategy and make sure that it gets done. It is like the mind telling the finger to reach up and touch your nose. Though it sounds simple, there is amazing detail in what must take place in your body when this happens. It is the same for business; everything must be carried out through careful planning to accomplish your goals, and therefore stimulate growth.

Now that your body is working well, it’s time to communicate with the audience. It is important never to forget what your business is all about- helping the client.

Owning your own business isn’t just about showing up to work every day and pushing a pen around on the desk. It is about working toward growth. In order to do that, your mind and body must understand that their jobs are separate, but at the same time they must work as one to accomplish growth and success.

Why Go to a Business Show?

Despite the general gloom and doom in the business world, one continuing success story is that of the business show. Whilst there are reports of a few specialist shows showing a drop in numbers, in general as business people it seems as though we can’t get enough of these events.

Just looking at one event location in London, in the space of a few days it is possible to visit business shows about restaurants, e-commerce, call centres, care, workplace management, building services and energy solutions. Whilst we wouldn’t suggest a scattergun approach, a careful choice of business show can really boost your business.

Business shows work because of the mix between exhibitor and visitor. Each have their part to play and it helps to understand the golden rules for making the most of a show. Starting with exhibitors, here are our top tips for making the most of any business show.

  • The stand. It doesn’t matter if you have a two foot patch of floor or half a football pitch, the important thing is to make sure your stand looks attractive and is manned at all times. Have plenty of brochures, business cards and leaflets available to give away to visitors.
  • The people. There is nothing worse for a visitor than to find a stand is manned by people who apparently want only to talk to each other or to play on a laptop at the back of the stand. Smile, step out of the stand area to greet, be friendly and chat. Above all, make sure that your people know about your business. A good impression here will make prospective clients want to get in touch again.
  • The “freebies“. Some companies go overboard, others give nothing away. Whether you want to exchange a business card for “a chance to win”, offer sweets to passing trade or give away pens or balloons doesn’t really matter. These may help to get you remembered but you will also be caught by a number of people who go to shows to collect as many free treats as possible. At the end of the day all these are ice breakers to persuade people to stop and talk to you or a way of collecting business cards.
  • The follow up. If you have collected business cards at the show by whatever means, make sure your diary is blocked out for the next few days to follow up. Even a short e-mail with some extra information about yourself or a link to your web site is better than nothing. If possible, when collecting cards make a note about one aspect of your chat so that you can personalise your follow-up e-mail. Don’t leave it too long though as after a week or so visitors will have started to forget about you.

From the visitor’s point of view the most important thing is that you are there to look, chat and learn. Visiting a show is not a cheap way of marketing your business. Remember that the exhibitors have paid for their stands and they want to talk to you about their business and how they can help you, not receive a sales pitch from you. Having said that, conversation is a two way thing and you may well find that some exhibitors are interested in follow up discussions about your business. In addition, many business shows run speed networking sessions where the idea is to meet and pitch to other businesses so bring a sizable pack of business cards with you. Remember to follow up on these introductions though or you will waste your initial impression.

Business shows allow you to meet others in your line of business, exchange ideas, and get information. In particular, business shows such as the Business Start Up show at Earls Court on 17-18 November enable new businesses, existing businesses and those thinking of starting a business to find out about accountancy, banking, networking, software, web sites and so much more.