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Success in uncertain times

Success in uncertain times

Posted on:  , 
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Uncertainty. It’s a word that keeps coming up in our province. We heard it several times at a recent event for small and medium sized business owners called "Rev: Sustain, Accelerate, Thrive" put on by the Calgary Chamber on May 12, 2015.

With low oil prices and a change in government many business owners have questions about the future. But there’s plenty of optimism too, that uncertain times don’t have to spell disaster for your business.

Here are four tips on how to be successful in times of uncertainty:

  1. Build stronger relationships

    Relationships that are beyond transactional are the relationships that survive hard times. Making an effort to forge tighter bonds with your customers is always smart. But a less obvious place to focus some attention is on your banker. Why not make an appointment just to check in and have a chat?

    Competitors can also be an unlikely source of help in hard times. Talking with like minded people who may have more experience can be an invaluable opportunity, once a relationship has been established.

  2. Understand your cash flow

    Understanding your cash flow in its simplest form seems pretty self explanatory—have more money coming in than going out. However, in times of economic uncertainty, the timing of payments is extremely important. In understanding how these payments work, you can make sure money is coming in before payments have to go out, or inventory has to be replenished.

    Try filling out our Cash Flow Forecast. Even if you've done it before, it might be time to revisit it to see if your circumstances have changed.

  3. Try switching back to insourcing

    While outsourcing can be a great solution during busy times, when things slow down you'll want to re-examine what actually needs to be outsourced and what can be done in-house. Doing so can save on the actual expense of outsourcing, as well as the cost of having idle employees.

  4. Don’t grow for the sake of growth

    Most businesses fail from success. Taking on more than you can handle isn’t positive, and neither is working harder without changing your bottom line. Additional revenue doesn’t always mean additional profit. Be smart with the new projects you take on by making sure they’re the right fit for your business.

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