Crises are inevitable in the life of an entrepreneur. The difference between a successful business owner and one who is not is probably from their ability to manage crises. Even better, the most important element is to be able to turn crises into business opportunities. It takes skill, creativity, hard and smart work to overcome these challenges. Statistics indicate that most businesses face three crises of varied intensity over a five-year period. If that is anything to go by, here are some ideas to turn a business crisis into an opportunity.
- Review business expenses
This is always one of the first things businesses have to deal with, especially during a financial crisis. Reviewing expenses in a particular year can reveal and help you cut unnecessary expenditures you probably never considered before. Making such cuts helps a business to adapt to the new terrain. More importantly, it helps the business owner make timely operational adjustments. During a crisis, non-urgent expenses are the first to go. Reducing infrastructure spending makes it easier to channel money into essential parts of the business.
During the height of the pandemic in the first, second and third quarters of 2020, many companies halted several inconsequential spending. This enabled them to channel financial resources into infrastructure that supported remote work. Through effective management, businesses turned the pandemic crisis into an opportunity with foresight. In your case, reviewing business expenses could create an opportunity to improve the work environment. You may want to consider upgrading technology to increase your production line. Indeed, depending on the measures used, you can find the silver lining behind every dark business cloud.
- Consider new ways to protect the business
During a crisis is a good time to reassess the protective measures you originally put in place for the company, especially if they don’t fit the current situation. For example, it will be a good time to get legal reinforcement if necessary. Commercial insurance is also another option to consider for your company. It protects the business in dire need by acting as a cushion and absorbing the shocks a crisis would have rendered.
- Unearth new business demands
In some instances, a change in demand may be a crisis for your company and discovering a minor detail that could turn things around. So it is a good time to determine what is working or not before major decisions are taken. For example, hand sanitizers were in demand at the pandemic’s beginning. Many companies with the resources started production immediately, saving them from collapse. The temptation to focus only on the negatives during a crisis can overshadow everything else. Now more than ever, you need tunnel vision to not fall off, and the same applies to your staff. It is worth noting that many business opportunities often present as a basic activity.
Another good example is the switch to online learning since the pandemic. Instead of schools shut down, they invested in technology that made things easier for all parties involved. Online platforms also became more popular, with edX recording a 161% increase in usage of its online learning platforms. Meanwhile, the same edX recorded 45% and 55% public interest before the pandemic. Admittedly, unearthing new business demands during a crisis may feel like trying to move in quicksand. However, the statistics are available for you to start thinking on a more positive note.
- Focus on merging business and customer needs
Your business is experiencing a crisis and needs a quick turnaround. At the same time, your clients and customers expect you to operate on the same level as before. How do you merge these two crucial needs? The answer lies in how proactive your business continues to be even in the face of crisis. Additionally, it requires high anticipation and readily available business tactics. This is when your marketing team needs to show prowess in their ability to draw more leads to the business.
Ideally, the core of every business operation runs on meeting a need and making profits subsequently. However, somewhere along the line, profit-making overtakes satisfying the customer. When this happens before a business crisis occurs, it may be tough to reel the customer back in. If you can do it, the company needs a more systematic approach to merge both needs and sustain them.
As you face a crisis in your business, there may be hope to salvage the situation. It always includes going back to the drawing board to restructure and come back better.