If this middle class killing economy has cut the knees out from your business, can you rebuild it? Not like before, but better, in a more sustainable way. Like Steve Austin, the $6M dollar man, but for a lot less.
Maybe you lost your home, your savings, your retirement plans or the long term investment which would have been your retirement. Once you get past the grieving and settle into a “I can start again” mindset, you can see this as an opportunity. Agreed it’s not an opportunity you would have chosen, but one that is staring you in the face.
If you can clear the decks of your debt – pay off credit cards and other bills, untangle yourself from services and contracts you no longer need, you can start fresh. And when you start fresh, can you do so without incurring new debt by operating your business within your means?
Calvin Coolidge said, “there is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.”
Dave Ramsey has said you make better business decisions when you don’t borrow money. If you have a surplus of borrowed funds, you tend to be sloppier in your decision-making.
Use this opportunity to rethink how you run your business. Can you keep your core competency – what you really like and what you are really good at – and trim away the rest? You may find the extraneous aspects to your business pull the greater share of overhead, and if you cut things to the core, you can slash your expenses.
With a little research, you may find the services you need can be done in a much more efficient way. For example, my law firm used to use Infusionsoft for our CRM (client relations management software). It cost $295 per month and we only used 5% of its capabilities. It is a fine product, but it is really built for aggressive email marketing, which we don’t do. What it was really good at, we didn’t need. What we needed, it wasn’t that good at. So finally, I discovered Highrise, a web-based app that does exactly what we need. And it was only $50 per month. For way less money we got a way better product for what we need.
We had several different merchant service accounts to handle our credit card payments – in person and online. We switched to Square for our in person credit card payments and PayPal (which integrates with almost everything) for our online credit card payments. We got a much better process for a lesser price.
Do you need the office space that makes up the lion’s share of your overhead? Maybe you don’t. See my previous post on this.
I’ll bet there are services you use that you don’t really need anymore and services you need that can be provided in a better more cost-effective way.
If you can substantially cut your overhead and rebuild your business around your core competency, your profit margin will go up, and you will need fewer customers to make your budget goals. That will take the pressure off and most importantly, put you on the path to creating the life you want.