When you start a business, you put so much of your energy and hard work into your venture that when things start going wrong it can be extremely worrying. Most businesses will face bumps in the road at one time or another (this is perfectly highlighted by the current pandemic we’re all facing at the moment) but if you act fast and smart, you can often turn things around. Here are some warning signs and issues you might come up against in business, and what to do about them.
A dip in profits
All businesses will experience peaks and troughs in sales and profits over the course of the year. In most businesses that sell physical items, the peaks will come around public holidays (such as Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day etc) with a fall afterwards. In other kinds of businesses, you might find profits are lower at other times such as after April as many companies are paying their tax and therefore have less to spend. Before panicking, find out if the current dip in sales is normal for your kind of business. If it’s not, you may need to up your marketing, run competitions and sales to get people interested and check your reviews to make sure nothing is putting people off buying from you.
A PR disaster
A negative story blowing up about your business can seriously affect your reputation. Be sure to think carefully before you respond, seeking legal advice where necessary. If an apology is owed then be sure to sincerely put that across, and then be prepared for any legal implications that come about. Having the right insurance in place can protect you against this, so you’re not left too badly out of pocket should the worst happen. If you’ve been unlucky enough to have been at the centre of a PR nightmare, once things have blown over you’ll need to rebuild your reputation again and show customers that you’re trustworthy. Trust is everything in business, especially when there are always going to be other similar companies out there that customers can shop with instead.
Bad products or services
If you switch to a new manufacturer or supplier recently, change the materials or ingredients you use to make your products (perhaps to save on costs) then you could be making your product worse. Again, read reviews on your business as they’re a quick way to tell if people are dissatisfied. Run market research or ask on social media to find out opinions on your product or service. From there, you can make changes if you need to.
Health, safety or insurance issues
Accidents can happen in business, it doesn’t matter how careful you are. However, many can be avoided by following health and safety rules and making sure you have the right insurances in place. You’ll need public and employee liability insurance, as well as insurances that are specific to your industry. For example, if you work with vehicles you might be asking, does trade insurance cover uninsured cars ? Find out what you need to know and what applies to you so you’re not overlooking anything or ending up out of pocket if you find you need to make a claim.
Theft from your business
Theft is costly to businesses, and it can happen both inside and outside of your company. From employees stealing to customers to hackers online. Protect yourself; use the most up to date software which will be more secure, and utilise things like cloud-based storage for your date. Make sure you’re following the correct security measures both online and in-person. From strong passwords and firewalls to CCTV and burglar alarms.
Don’t give up
When things go wrong in business, or perhaps it fails completely, it can leave you feeling like you never want to try it again. But don’t be deterred, many people who are now successful in business have had failures in their past. By failing and going wrong, it enables you to see how you can do better next time, you have experience under your belt and know what to do to prevent the same mistakes from happening again.
Have you had issues like these arise in your business? What did you do to resolve them?