5 Tips to Help SMEs Go Through Difficult Times

Caroline Thevenot
Founder and CEO

In unpredictable and difficult times, it is important that managers are able to take fast decisions and adapt quickly to the changing conditions. They have to learn to be flexible and rethink their plan to move forward. Here are 5 tips to help you go in the right direction:

1- Do your cost control analysis

  • Have a detailed cashflow forecast week per week for one month and then monthly for the next quarter. Be as precise as possible.
  • Study your Profit&Loss and have a Gross profit calculated per product or services.
  • Don’t cut too deep in your expenses because your business may never recover if you do so.
  • Manage your inventory in a better way, reduce your production, find another supplier, re-negotiate your payment terms,etc.
  • Don’t cut back on Marketing, it is in a moment of crisis that you will need it the most. Invest in low budget marketing.
  • In hard times you have to make hard choices.
  • It is very important to retain the right resources and to let go of the employees that bring less value to your company.

2- Focus on the Long Term

  • Don’t be blindfolded by your immediate cashflow problems.
  • Take a step back and prioritize the projects that generate Revenue: Invest your time, money and energy only selling the products/services that are the most profitable; it should be your core competency.
  • The crisis is the opportunity to amplify your skills and come up with new solutions.
  • Search for geographical expansion and innovative products that will change your market

3- Look Outside of the box

  • Look beyond the regular boundaries of your business.
  • It is time to look around you, what are your competitors doing? Be different from them.
  • Invest in Tech resources. Train and Meet online, offer home services, free deliveries, etc.
  • Don’t get stuck with your previous way of working. Be resourceful.

4- Use part-time consultants/freelancers

In difficult times, surround yourself with professionals; they will make you save a lot of money and also they will help you make the best decisions:

  • Cashflow Forecast and cost analysis: get a part-time Finance Manager (Contact CTC Accounting in Dubai to find a part-time finance manager>> https://www.ctconsultancyuae.com/)
  • Hiring/firing staff: get an HR consultant
  • Customer services: get a sales consultant
  • Marketing campaign: Get a social media/ PR agency

You can use their services on a temporary basis, and you don’t need to pay gratuities, tickets, holidays, allowance, visas, etc.

5- Make the most of your current customers

  • Offer better customer services and diversify your offers to them.
  • Let them know about your new services/products.
  • Help them go through this difficult period.

And remember, bad times don’t last forever, stay informed and seek for opportunities.