Do you need some tips on how to build and grow your business especially during a global crisis?
There is no doubt that these are very challenging times for any business owner or entrepreneur: the sales are declining, cash flow is low, and there are multiple fires you need to put out.
To make matters worse, everyone is counting on you to provide an answer to their questions.
In the midst of all this chaos, you need a trustworthy resource to guide you through the storm. This is why Dan Lok created the Crisis Triangle.
Crisis Triangle is made up of 12 components that break down the key functions of your business and tell you what to improve. Whether you are running a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, the crisis triangle will work, if you choose to implement it.
This is the same triangle Dan Lok shares with his high-level clients and board members in Dragon 100 – an executive club comprised of 7 and 8-figure entrepreneurs.
Before we cover the 12 ways to build and grow your business during a global pandemic, let’s go over why you must have a stellar mindset in order for this to work.
Why Do You Need A Stellar Mindset?
For a CEO and entrepreneur, this is the time to step up to the challenge; your team demands leadership from you.
Today’s reality is very tough, we get that. But this is not the time to panic, or to get nervous. You can’t make an intelligent decision on behalf of your business while in a state of panic. This is the time to stay cool, calm, and collected.
First off, take your 12-month growth plan and throw it out the window.
Think about your business journey as if you were the Titanic. The plan was to go from England to New York, but, halfway throughout the journey, you hit an iceberg.
This iceberg is the current global crisis you have been hit by. Your plans have changed and you need to adapt. After all, we have to survive in order to thrive.
For you to get through these unpredictable waters, you have to, whether you like it or not, be ready to make uncomfortable decisions. If you’re ready for the challenge, we are here to help you.
Find out the 12 ways to build and grow your business during a global crisis
1. Suspend All Non-Essential Spending
This is not the time to take risks or make any major investments. In order to survive, you need to prioritize stability.
Start by analyzing every single expense you have. Separate the ones that are essential from those you can cut right now. Suspend all of your big plans that require a cash outlay.
Next, take this a step further by analyzing your personal spending. If you want to buy a car or go on a vacation, forget about it. This is not the time to do that.
In order for your business to survive, you need as much cash as possible. It is absolutely essential you put your business before your personal needs.
According to Make It, 54% of Americans say they are struggling with finances in some aspect of their lives.
With these tips on how to build and grow your business, you will be one step ahead.
Think about the consequences of taking on a risky project right now: you will be putting your company, employees, and assets at risk for an outcome that is outside of your control. This is not the way to go.
Instead, you should be looking for ways to position your company so as to ensure safety in these difficult times.
2. Shut all Cash-Heavy Projects Down
Take a moment to look at all the projects you want to execute: which ones suck the most amount of cash? It’s critical that you shut all cash heavy projects down.
Here is a three-step checklist for you to follow:
1. Analyze Each Project on a Case-by-Case Basis
Don’t place your projects into one basket, or even group them into categories. Instead, analyze each one on a case-by-case basis.
2. Identify the Amount of Capital Required
It’s always beneficial to overestimate the amount of capital required to complete a project. From there, set the boundaries of what is acceptable for your business.
3. Rate the Level of Risk Involved
Your projects might have potential, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the risks. In times like these, the high risk does not ensure a high reward.
After analyzing your projects, you will notice that, while they may have looked good 3-6 months ago, some of them no longer look as promising. These are the projects you want to put aside.
These tips on how to build and grow your business will help you conserve money and allocate it appropriately.
3. Sell off Any Non-Producing Assets
During this global pandemic, most businesses go through drastic changes. For example, the way you serve your customers or deliver value may be different under such circumstances.
Unfortunately, not all businesses can make it through this crisis. If you are looking at it with no emotion, this may be time to turn the key and walk away.
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some things are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” ― Steve Maraboli
In this case, you don’t need tips on how to build and grow your business. Rather, you need information on why it would be a smart decision to sell or walk away from your business.
Here are three factors to consider:
1. Your Business Will Never Look the Same
Even if the economy does bounce back, your business will never look the same. Think about it as an earthquake: while the city will be back to normal after it passes, there will be permanent damages to its surroundings.
2. You Can’t Revive a Dead Horse
Many small businesses do not have adequate capital to survive a global crisis. If your business is at a point of no return, there is no good in trying to save it. After all, a dead horse is a dead horse.
3. New Opportunities Will Arise
After the storm comes a clear sky. Once this global pandemic has passed, new trends and opportunities will arise. If you hold onto your business, you may not be able to take advantage of these trends.
It’s difficult to escape once you’ve become so tangled up in your business, whether it be for the emotional or monetary investment.
You need to know when it’s time to fight for your business, and when it’s time to move on.
4. Digitize Aspects of Your Business
Let’s say you are selling a physical product to your customers. Is there a way you can digitize your process so you can deliver the same experience online?
For example, if you are an author selling books on Amazon, you could take the time to create an eBook. It’s simple to do and doesn’t require a huge capital investment.
With this change, your audience can now download your product instead of having it shipped to them. This reduces your delivery costs and opens doors to an entirely new market.
If you haven’t started digitizing your business, it’s likely you haven’t seen the results you expected.
Using these tips to build and grow your business, you will be able to adjust your approach and accelerate your sales.
Investing the time to digitize aspects of your business is fundamental for your success. If you’re ever unsure where to start, ask yourself: Can you change the way you deliver information about your product or service?
5. Systemize Functions Within Your Business
Are there any processes or procedures you can systemize so it’s less people-dependent and more technology-dependent?
Ideally, you want to reduce the human element in your business. Why? The answer is simple: you can use code or software to automate some of the core processes.
During a global crisis, you don’t want your business to be so people-heavy. These tips and tricks aim to help you build and grow your business when you are tight on money.
Here are some benefits of systemizing functions within your business:
- Cost reduction: If a computer can complete a task without the help of a human, you can leverage this to save money.
- Increased efficiency: Computers don’t have to take breaks. For this reason, you can leave them running all the time.
- Improved performance: Computers make fewer mistakes than humans do. Furthermore, they can get recurring tasks done a lot quicker.
- Improved communication: Computers can document and time-stamp each task they complete. This gives you reference points in the event something goes wrong.
- More free time: By delegating various tasks to computers, you will be able to step away and focus on running your business.
In addition to automating aspects of your business, you could also consider hiring a remote team to execute some of the processes. This will become much more clear once you have systems in place.
Systemizing processes will make a huge difference to your business and increase your odds of survival. If you haven’t already, start thinking about the aspects of your business that can be automated.
6. Virtualize Your Business
Virtualization is an innovative technology that helps companies to save money and operate more efficiently. Businesses of all sizes are now following this new trend.
For example, Toastmasters is a public speaking company that hosts live events. They teach people how to improve their communication and build leadership skills.
Due to the crisis, they had to experiment with new ways to deliver value and connect with their audience. Now, Toastmasters hosts live webinars that allow students to tune in from the comfort of their own home.
According to ON24, 89% of the hosts agreed on the webinar as their best platform to showcase and grow their business.
It doesn’t just stop at live webinars: many are hosting virtual seminars, trade shows, and product launches. By doing so, they manage to reach more people for a fraction of the cost.
If you want to take it a step further, here are additional tips to grow and build your business during a global crisis.
If you have a YouTube channel, Instagram page or Facebook account. Think about how you can leverage these platforms to increase your outreach.
After a live virtual event, you can take the recording and put it on your social media platforms. This way, you can provide value to those who missed the event and encourage them to do business with you.
Furthermore, you can use social media to promote your next live event and provide incentives to those who share your post.
If you’re ever unsure of what direction you should be taking your business during an economic crisis, ask yourself: can I virtualize any aspect of my business?
7. Count Your Cash
Any business needs cash in order to survive. For this reason, you must be very cautious with your cash flow.
Take the time to look at your cash flow statement once a week; analyze where cash is coming in and where it’s going out. If you notice any discrepancies, now is the time to address them.
These tips to build and grow your business will only work if you are mindful of your cash. After all, cash is king during these difficult times.
So you might be thinking, how can I prevent discrepancies from happening?
A simple way of doing this is to encourage communication within your team. During these unpredictable times, the last thing you want to do is go silent.
Look for daily reports in each department. Speak to the managers each week to go over what is going well and what isn’t.
The only reason why you will go out of business is if you run out of cash. This means that you must be mindful of every single dollar.
It’s difficult to keep track of every dollar by yourself. This is why you should leverage your team for updates and support.
8. Collect as Much Cash as Possible
During this global pandemic, you want to collect as much money as possible. Look over your accounts receivable and take note of who owes you money.
Accounts receivable is a fancy way of saying that a customer will pay you at a later date. But, the problem is, you need the money now. You need capital to continue your business operations and to get through these challenging times.
How to reduce your accounts receivable:
1. Collect Money Upfront When Possible
Always encourage clients to pay you upfront when possible. You can do this by providing them with an incentive for doing so.
2. Set Reminders to Reach Out to Your Customers
Staying on top of your clients will help you to get paid faster. Pick up the phone and deliver a friendly reminder of the money they owe you.
3. Consider Changing the Payment Terms
In the event your client cannot afford to pay you, don’t give up. Work with them to see if you can reformulate payment terms.
If you are running a small business, slow payments can seriously hurt your livelihood. If payments are coming in late, figure out where the problem lies and proactively look for a solution.
Your goal is to have as few accounts receivable as possible. In an ideal situation, no one should be owing you money.
9. Conserve Money Where Possible
In the midst of minimizing your accounts receivable, you want to maximize your accounts payable.
Imagine that you owe $500 to an external contractor. You agreed to pay them the money after 30 days. Is there any way for you to renegotiate the terms of payment?
If the payment term is 30 days, can you negotiate 45 or 60 days? Can you break it up into multiple payments over time?
It often turns out that all you need to do is ask. During a global crisis, other companies are also going through a similar situation. For this reason, they will be flexible on their payment terms.
In truth, no one knows when we are going to bounce back. No one knows how long this will last. But this does not matter: as long as you have cash, you will be okay.
Do everything in your power to conserve cash and you will get through this storm.
Don’t save your cash for a rainy day, this is a storm”. – Dan Lok
These tips on how to build and grow your business will help you prioritize and conserve cash.
After all, cash is the lifeline of your business. Without it, you have no way of moving forward. Don’t undervalue the significance of this step, since it’s crucial for your success.
10. Re-energize Your Existing Client Base
It’s likely that your customers are experiencing similar emotions and challenges. Furthermore, they’re probably confused about what to do.
In the midst of all this, what can you do to help and comfort them? Can you provide them with any additional value? Can you solve any of their problems?
A simple way to go about this is reaching out to your existing customers and asking: Hey how are things going? Do you need any help from me?
Think about this question: if you couldn’t find any new customers for the next 12 months, what would you do?
It would make sense for you to focus on your existing customers. After all, they have already done business with you. All you need to do is to communicate to them that you are here to help.
Following these tips on how to build and grow your business, you will be able to continue serving clients during these uncertain times.
11. Re-activate Any Old Customers
Do you have any old customers who used to buy from you but no longer do? If so, how can you reach out to them and reactivate your relationship?
It’s likely that these customers have not done business with you for many years. They might have lost touch with you, but this doesn’t mean they have forgotten about you.
This is a great time to reach out to them and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Additionally, it’s so valuable because it doesn’t cost you anything.
However, a simple email isn’t going to cut it. You need to pick up the phone and apply your closing skills.
In order to facilitate emotion and drive action, you need to talk to your customers on the phone. Dan Lok explains this skill in debt in this YouTube video. He also touches on the 12 tips to build and grow your business during a global crisis.
Communicating through email requires a lot of back-and-forth movement. Your customers might have questions, objections or concerns that need to be addressed before they make a decision. It can take hours, or even days, before you get a concrete answer.
With a phone call, you can address these issues immediately and get an answer the same day. This makes a huge difference in the closing process.
12. Retain Your Current Customers
During a global crisis, you might not have the resources to go out there and advertise your products and services. So what should you do?
Instead, think about what you can do to retain your current customers in the next 30 days.
In the event you have a customer leaving due to the global crisis, you need to do everything in your power to keep them. Here are three ways to do so:
1. Survey Your Customers
Take the time to survey your customers and ask them why they are not buying from you anymore. Is there anything you could do better to serve them?
2. Have a Meaningful Conversation
Sometimes customers are embarrassed to admit that they are going through financial hardships. Make sure they know that you are there for them and that you are flexible during these times.
3. Offer Your Product or Service at A Discounted Price
While this is not recommended, it’s better to provide a service to your customer at a lower price than lose them altogether. This won’t hurt your business if it doesn’t cost you a lot to deliver your services.
Retention is key during a global crisis, you cannot afford to lose any customers.
Maybe one or two of these tips on how to build and grow your business stood out to you; whichever they were, figure out how to apply them to your business moving forward.
Put it All Together With the Dragon 100 Checklist
In this article, we covered the crisis triangle that consists of 12 ways to build and grow your business during a global crisis.
If you want to know if your business is recession-proof and disruption proof, Dan Lok has created a special checklist for entrepreneurs like you.
This one-page simple checklist will help you pivot, preserve, and protect your business during the global pandemic.
If you want to get through this global pandemic smoothly, click here to download your copy of the Dragon 100 Checklist.