Consumers are finally coming back out of the Omicron shutdown.For many small business owners, the first quarter of 2022 did not deliver on the sales revenue expectations. Owners are now in catch up mode but are short on cash flow to make that happen. The first step is to stay calm and look across your business to make improvements in revenue, budgeting and effectively engage with your target segments and niches.
Take charge of the journey to revenue
Stay current on trends in your industry, especially information on customer behavior. Anticipate shifts in consumer behavior rather than being surprised. Frequently map consumer behavior trends to your products or services. You may want to check for shifts in consumer behavior every week or two weeks.
Update messages and social media copy regularly. Always stay close to your best customers and ask for their suggestions on what they need in the near term and in the next six to twelve months. Keep what is working and let go of products, services, and sales practices that are not working. Put your ego aside and keep moving forward.
Be realistic with budgets
Many businesses were able to obtain grants and some equity in 2021. I have observed a pattern of forecasting and budgeting mistakes reducing projected results or even losses. Overlooking the complete costs of distribution, the impact of supply chain delays, and not managing social media costs are typical mistakes. Any budgeting efforts must be detailed and reliable. The technique that works is cross checking budgets for completeness and accuracy. Make sure a meticulous colleague cross checks the budgets and forecasts. Always include reserves and cushions for errors, delays and shifts in external forces beyond your control.
Tap your strengths and insights into your industry and customers
Take time to step back and look for opportunities for new distribution points or emerging customer segments that have needs for your products and services. Pursue opportunities where your company can uniquely fill urgent needs.