With the end of the year quickly approaching, businesses big and small are starting to plan and look forward. None of us can predict the future, however, there are still plenty of practical ways to be ready.
At EC Credit Control our debt management agency has been operating since 1988 – not long after the world experienced a major stock market crash. We tend to take a long-term view of things as a result. By doing the same with your small business and positioning it for the future, we know that even in today’s market there is plenty of room for small businesses to thrive.
In this blog, we explore five ways you can prepare your business for 2022 and beyond.
1. Create (or boost) your digital presence
One of the key changes in people’s behaviour this year was the marked increase in doing things online. Whether it was to socialise, make purchases or pass the time, people have been flocking to the internet in record numbers. Many have overcome their fears about online shopping or video chats and have started to include these in their every day.
If you haven’t already created a digital presence, now is the time to do so. And if you do have a digital presence but it needs some love, now is the time to give it.
Here are some tips to build your online presence:
- Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find your business and utilise your services.
- Claim & set up your Google My Business listing so that people can find you.
- Optimising your website experience for mobile phones and testing out what the experience is like – how easy is it to use? Do you have a nice way to shop or make bookings online?
Ensure your online payment process is user-friendly – offering multiple ways to pay is one of the things you can do to make it easy for your customers to pay on time.
2. Upskill your staff
Your business is only as strong as your staff. In today’s world, your staff is just as pressed for time as your customers. Adapt to modern ways of engaging them and help build their collective strength.
- Think you need to hire someone new? Take stock of who you’ve already got at your disposal. Upskilling existing staff before hiring new employees can help empower the people you already have and save you on recruitment.
- Organise career development plans to retain your best employees and ask them honestly where they’re interested in heading. You’ll be able to focus on providing real help in their career path and keep them motivated as they grow.
- Your team should be growing with your business. Help them keep pace with where your thinking is at by sharing your vision with them and bringing them into some of the planning.
- Help your employees be clear on the job with a modernised employee handbook. Gone are the days of creating a manual and forgetting about it in the drawer – check out a few ways to create a great employee handbook here.
3. Future-proof your processes
It’s time to look at your processes from a critical viewpoint. Could someone step in today and be able to keep your business running without you? Without clear processes, how much is your business really worth?
Steps you can take to prepare your small business for the future include:
- Prepare your systems for scaling – review them, ensure they run smoothly under all common scenarios, and ask your customers and suppliers for feedback
- Assess your total debt management process, and test whether it checks all the boxes in future-proofing your small business.
- You can download our free guide to debt management here or ask us to build you a customised debt recovery plan.
- Record everything for future employees, ensuring that all the valuable knowledge that’s in your head (or the heads of your key staff) is accessible for others.
- Make employee manuals that are accessible and enjoyable to use, so your people will be driven to utilise them.
Put the time and effort into your systems now so you don’t repeat mistakes, saving you time and customers in the long run.
4. Build a financial war chest
If this year taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it happens for us or not, and to what degree, you need to be putting our resources into surviving a downturn now.
- Having a good amount of cash reserves will help you keep trading through any difficult patches that arise. Start building your cash ‘war chest’ and channel any funds you can in this direction.
- Protect your family and your assets upfront. Update and upgrade your asset protection and ensure your PPSR registrations are correct and valid for today’s legislation.
On a personal level, ensure your Will, Enduring Powers of Attorney and insurances are relevant and up to date.
- Talk to your accountant and bank about cashflow, funding and the best way to position your small business for the future. Incorporate this into your business and personal financial plans.
- Protect your small business cashflow with a strong credit management process. More than just debt collection at the bottom of the cliff, this looks at your total debt management picture, and builds in process to ensure you have the highest chances of
- Get onto it and load any outstanding debts with EC Credit Control today. We’re an expert debt resolution agency who will act promptly in your interests, while still maintaining your customer relationships.
5. Review, reflect, reset
If you’re like us, it seems the world is changing quicker than ever before. Taking the time to slow it all down and look at your small business strategically – and objectively – will help you to see things clearly.
At EC Credit Control we believe small business success comes from crystallising your thoughts into smart moves. We invite you to have a breath, and reflect on these final ideas:
- Regularly review your market, audience and competitors and be prepared to adapt accordingly. This can be as easy as asking customers about their experience or engaging a marketing expert to help you undertake some simple research.
- Flexibility is key. Be prepared to learn, to be wrong, and to change your mind if new information comes to light.
- Drop what’s not working and pursue what is. Don’t feel bad about it! Having the courage to say ‘no’ or change tack gives you the space to focus your energies on the real opportunities.
Ready to build your cash war chest?
At EC Credit Control we have been helping small businesses succeed in Australia for over 30-years. Rather than just looking at one end of the spectrum, we are focused on how your debt resolution process works as a whole.
We believe that in doing this we’re able to help you protect and build up your cash flow in a sustainable way, no matter what is going on in the world.
- Talk to our team about a review of your debt management process to ensure your small business is set up to ride out a market downturn.
- Explore the different terms of trade and point of sale documents we can help personalise for your business.
- Load debts online now and hand it over to the experts.
- Find out how we work.