3 Ways to Prepare for Economic Uncertainty
You can't escape the constant news of a looming recession, or inflation, or stagflation (WHAT??). It's a constant drumbeat in the news and from economic forecasters. We are in a weird place as designers because many of us are still busy from all of the work we've had the last two years. Many of you probably have jobs that you know will take you into 2023 - so should you worry about a recession? The short answer is yes - but only because you should ALWAYS be prepared for any sort of economic ups and downs. You can't predict crazy events like a pandemic, right? But you can be ready no matter what is coming. In fact, the more prepared you are, the less stress you'll feel in general because you know you've made the right moves!! So here are my 3 best ways to prepare for ANY economic uncertainty and to protect your business!
1. Pay Attention to Your Cash
One of the BEST ways to protect your business is with cold hard cash! At this point, you should know every single day how much cash you actually have coming in and going out. You need to know your expenses, overhead, and income and be able to understand where your business is at any given moment. And you should have a healthy cash reserve. If you are a solopreneur, that could be 3 to 6 months of operating income. But if you have employees and a larger business, economists say 6 months to a year would be best. We've all been busy the last 2 years, so hopefully you've been banking that cash! This also would be the time to avoid any major purchases that aren't ABSOLUTELY necessary. Hold onto that money. And be sure that you're being paid on time, or even better, ahead of time. Don't buy product with your money (EVER), and don't put yourself in the position of having to chase a client for payment. It's all about that $$$$ right now!
2. Keep Marketing!
Do. Not. Stop. Marketing. Period. Unfortunately, many businesses think of marketing first when they need to cut expenses and that is definitely the wrong approach. In our business marketing that we do today may not bring clients for 3 to 6 months, so we need to market even when we're swamped with work. You can put people on a waitlist if they do call in - and trust me, many of them will wait! But do not ever stop posting on social, sending newsletters, talking to local press to provide quotes, networking, and staying in contact with your former clients. Word of mouth is STILL number one for our referrals, so check back in with those previous clients, and be sure you're giving your current clients the very very best custom service!
3. Get Those Systems and Processes in Place
If you don't have EVERY part of your business not only running like a well-oiled machine, but also documented with systems and processes, then NOW is the time to nail that down. Why? Because being more efficient will save you time, and it will save you money. It allows you to run a tight ship with fewer people. It keeps your clients happier and more willing to refer you to others. See where I'm going here?? A business that can perform at a high level without reinventing the wheel with every project is going to be more effective and productive. And that means more money!