Every startup business goes through bad patches. As a company in Thailand grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions – what worked a year ago might now be not the best approach today. Recognizing and overcoming the common pitfalls associated with growth is essential if a business is to continue to grow and thrive. Crucially, entrepreneurs need to ensure that the steps they take today will not create additional problems in the future. However, keeping a small business afloat in difficult economic times is challenging. Whether failing to properly plan or simply a lack of sales, they are all equally devastating.
Unfortunately, there is no one-plan-fits-all solution. Every small business is different, and each carries its own risks and rewards. These differences make copying another company’s turnaround strategy to the letter unrealistic. Still, there are some general strategies business owners can follow to help them stop taking on water and start bailing themselves out. Sure, theoretical advice is nice, but when entrepreneurs are struggling to keep their business going, they want real help from skills and experienced startup consultants.
To survive, there are some rules which matter more than others. Most who manage and own large businesses, who, at one time, were struggling in their own start-ups, will inform startup entrepreneurs that there are some steps and strategies they need to hang on to, to reach their goals.
Assess the Damage
The first thing entrepreneurs need to do when their business in Thailand is in trouble is to find out exactly how much trouble. They can’t tackle a problem until they are willing to face it head-on. Apart from seeking professional advice from a business startup advisor, entrepreneurs must also learn to identify the areas where the business is failing. It’s easy to overlook the signs as they develop because they are busy with their day-to-day running of the business, but if entrepreneurs look hard enough, they should be able to spot discrepancies leading up to the problems.
Talk to Customers/Clients
Customers/Clients are arguably the most important aspect of a business. Without them, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be bringing in the revenue to keep their doors open. It’s important to get as much feedback from customers as much as possible. What were they pleased with? What could the business have done differently? If entrepreneurs aren’t collecting information from their customers, they have no idea how to successfully move forward. Perhaps, entrepreneurs can ask their customers to take part in a survey and offer a nice prize to one lucky partaker as a reward. They can also do a quick sit down with long-time customers and have an open conversation to gather in-depth information about their business and about any unmet needs they might have to them could fulfill.
Manage Finances Properly
One of the main reasons startup businesses go out of business quickly is that owners fail to manage their money well. If their business is going through a rough patch, it’s a good idea to create weekly budgets, instead of monthly and annually. When it comes to the cash flow, entrepreneurs should be tracking down to a fine art. If they do end up struggling with money and they have debtors to pay back, they should make sure that their debtors are aware of their current situation. One of the many ways entrepreneurs can avoid conflict is to contact their debtors and explain the situation to them – this will put them in a good light, and they’re more likely to work out a payment deal than come after the business.
When a business starts to fail to bring in profits, it’s a clear indication that things are going wrong. However, it doesn’t mean it is the end. If entrepreneurs need to get back on their feet to invest in the business to offer what their customers are looking for, it is time to reduce expenses. It could be anything from cutting extraneous employee expenses to reducing office space and even lowering costs on office supplies or the cost of shipping or other services that the company routinely buys. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing business costs, so don’t be afraid to be tight pocketed.
Don’t Stop Marketing
Many startup businesses are tempted to cut their marketing budget to save cash. This is a mistake. When entrepreneurs turn their back on advertising, they are pretty much giving up on their business. They are saying that they can’t afford to bring in new clients, which spells disaster for the future of their company. Even if they don’t have the budget for marketing, there are many ways they can advertise to save small businesses, such as:
- Build a free email list and send out newsletters
- Try cold calling
- Write publications
- Utilize social media
- Participate in forums, trade fairs, and networking events
- Create a Google My Business account
- Target influencers
- Ask for referrals
- Collaborate with other businesses
Review Current Strategies
Entrepreneurs must understand that the way they think about their failures is the key to their success. After entrepreneurs re-evaluate their company in Thailand, chances are they have found where they went wrong and are ready to redefine and rethink their strategy – it is a great step in reviving their failing business. There are times that a failing company might be doing everything right – having the right product, identifying the right customer base, right pricing but their marketing is not able to convince customers to buy their products. The right way out for this is for entrepreneurs to evaluate the right marketing mix for their customers with the right message and pitch.
Meet With Employees
It’s time for entrepreneurs to set a company meeting. They need to admit that there are things wrong with the business and discuss how management plans would help fix them. Entrepreneurs should provide their employees with relevant parts of the business plan and ask for their ideas. Remember, when it comes to drafting a plan, two heads are better than one.
Learn From Previous Mistakes
One of the many reasons why a business is failing is because entrepreneurs still have more to learn. They should learn from their mistakes, sit down, and reflect. Understanding what caused their business to get into the current state and being open about the mistakes they have made is a crucial factor in saving their business. After some re-evaluation, entrepreneurs must pick themselves back up and move on. They should not be so hard on themselves because they did not do it on purpose.
When entrepreneurs know that their business is on its last legs, they need to be proactive. They should not sit back and wait for things to happen before they take action. Entrepreneurs must take actions that are not only preventative but can also fix glaring problems. There’s no better feeling for startup entrepreneurs than when they can turn something around for the better. Moreover, entrepreneurs should never let go of their passion for the business. As long as they still have passion in them, they will always look for ways to keep their business alive. Passion is what made them start their business in the first place, and it will help them to keep going. Passion may not always come with the voice of reason, but it may be the fuel they need to reignite that fire.
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