Ten things to do when times are hard

It seems that the past couple of months have been particularly tough for small printers. I always found that when business was slack I was personally busier than ever. It can be hard to keep a sense of perspective when times are hard.

Here’s a short list of actions that I found useful in hard times:

  1. Get on with it! The good decisions you made when business was good are almost certainly still good. Don’t allow procrastination to get in your way.
  2. Make sure that all your regular sales and marketing activities are proceeding as normal. It can be hard to maintain your momentum in these activities, but it’s more important than ever. I know this sound obvious, but I’ve seen how difficult it can be to achieve.
  3. Be open and honest with your staff, but be positive. Let them know that times are hard everywhere - without scaring the proverbial out of them!
  4. Don’t sell too cheaply - you’ll only regret it later.
  5. Create special offers, perhaps offering more for the same price, to stimulate business without cutting your base prices.
  6. Follow the 80-20 rule and make sure your top customers are happy. They’re the one’s that will carry you through to better times.
  7. Consider re-negotiating your rent. For an informative article on this, click here.
  8. Talk to your suppliers. I don’t mean to say that you should tell them everything, but you are more likely to get an extension of credit (if you need it) if they don’t feel that you are avoiding them.
  9. If business is so bad that you need to make a redundancy, do it quickly. There is absolutely no point in prolonging the agony.
  10. Have the weekend off! Try to involve yourself in a non work related activity that will absorb you and allow a fresh start on Monday. If you don’t look after yourself, whose going to look after your business?
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