An economical downshift can spell disaster for any business, but more so for the small businesses with few employees. There are many reasons for this. There are also ways to combat the failure that could greet your business in a time of economic turmoil. Many people will have many ideas on how to help your business meet the times of gloom and need and survive, but few may realize that disaster proofing your business can be as simple as taking steps to grow your knowledge and staff members’ knowledge about business needs and operations.
Find the Right People
Having a well informed staff can be beneficial to your business both in trying times, and at times when the economy is functioning like a well oiled machine. Surrounding yourself with employees who are well versed in more than one area of business, and also keeping yourself educated, allows you to employee fewer people. Essentially, it allows you to have a more effective and efficient work force, thus reducing your expenditures.
This is particularly important at times when there is uncertainty and unemployment numbers are high. The reason for this is that there will be less people who will be in a financial position to spend money, which means your business income will almost undoubtedly be affected.
I may be difficult to find employees who are highly functioning in more than one capacity, but it is not impossible. Another option is to hire people who have good knowledge in one area and then train them to be more effective in other areas as well. You may want to offer some type of incentive for employees who successfully pursue more training, or arrange workshops and courses for yourself and your employees to participate in. These courses can be arranged through many firms and institutions, and cover a range of topics from reality sales training, to customer service and financials. Some professional designations even offer online courses in order to make themselves more accessible.
The YOU Factor
Do not make the mistake of thinking that because you are the employer you do not need to be highly educated. For you to be well educated in more than one area is perhaps the most important piece of the business puzzle. The more knowledgeable that you are as the boss, the less you will have to rely on others for many of your business needs.
The key is to evaluate your expenses in each area of your business operations, from marketing to bookkeeping and everything in between, and then identify the areas where your expenses are highest. If you take courses and certifications that will allow you to operate in such a capacity that you can carry out many of these tasks yourself, you will effectively cut the costs that were originally associated with these areas.
After having said all of this, it must also be noted that you need to remember you are only one person. You can only do so many things yourself before some areas take a hit from lack of time. This would be counterproductive. This means that you need to consider what you are capable of, and what your staff is capable of, and then designate activities accordingly. This will still allow you to reduce costs effectively, but will also help keep you from compromising vital aspects of your businesses operations.