The elephant in the room
So, we all know that times are strange and things are uncertain. It seems COVID-19 has turned parts of the world upside down.
Some business owners saw an opportunity for growth and grabbed it fast… bravo if you are one of them!
For others, it’s been a little scary and the P&L figures haven’t been looking too good.
Luckily, there have been a number of initiatives that can help your business navigate through this weird, new (and hopefully temporary) world.
We’re sure you know all of this already, so let’s get to the good stuff….
***Before we do, your first point of call should be here to see what help you can get for your business.
Bounce back to BETTER than before.
We’re focusing on the bounce back loan scheme, where you can get a loan of up to £50,000 from your bank to support your business.
Even more helpfully, it is at an incredibly low rate of 2.5% and doesn’t need to be paid back until 12 months have passed.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever get an offer like this again. And for those of you who dream of going on Dragon’s Den… this is your opportunity for a lump sum.
BUT… if you don’t use it wisely, you could end up bouncing right back into the sh*t. It is debt, after all.
Let’s talk about debt, baby.
In our economic model, there is good debt and bad debt. Let’s take a crude (and rather simplified) look at the cornerstone of the banking system to understand it better…
When a bank loans you £100 (or invests in you), they’re technically £100 pounds in debit. However… because there will be a return on that investment, that debt is seen as an asset, and not a liability.
That’s an example of a good debt.
It also means they now have £100 more to invest in someone else, so one could even argue that it is the PERFECT debt. But that’s not for this blog.
A bad debt would be to invest in something that depreciates in value over time. Like the latest smartphone, a car or that inflatable flamingo dinghy you’ve just GOT to have.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t invest in ‘things’… you just need to make sure those ‘things’ will provide a return.
So… how could you use your bounce back loan?
If you think a bounce back loan might be for you, then here are some ideas of how to invest wisely in your business and make sure you come up smelling like roses in 12 months’ time.
Start with a plan
If you don’t, you’ll either blow it all at once, or flitter it away slowly while you decide what to do with it.
When planning on how to make the most out of your bounce back loan, you will want to consider:
- Your wage. How much do you need to pay yourself? Think about the minimum you need to get by AND your ideal (yet realistic) income.
- Your profits. Do you want to leave money in the business to reinvest?
- Your sales. How much revenue and how many clients or customers do you need to fund your wage and your profits?
- Your resources. This is the most important part! What do you need in order to manage that level of productivity?
Now, we hear you if your answer to that last question is ‘more time’! And there are ways that you can buy ‘more time’ and create growth for your business.
Invest in systems and processes
As some of our fabulous freelancers so often advise, effective systems that provide automated processes can give you back a whole heap of time.
You can use these automated processes through every step of your business.
Sales and Marketing Systems to create revenue for your business.
Well… we are in the marketing business. But there’s no need to roll your eyes at us, we’re not selling here. Just giving some good old fashioned advice.
Your sales and marketing systems are essential for growth. But remember to focus on your ROI and use targeted campaigns.
If the numbers say you’ll get the biggest return by posting flyers through letterboxes, go for it.
If your business is right for a straight-to-product Facebook ad campaign, go for it.
Delivery Systems to ensure a great service to your customers.
It’s all about the customer experience, because those 1-star reviews can seriously damage your credibility.
Delivering the promises you make in your sales and marketing strategy is essential for sustainable growth.
How can you make things easier and more efficient for both you and your customers? Or how can you provide an experience that exceeds all expectations?
Find the answer to those questions, and fund it with your free* money.
*For 12 months.
Growth Systems to collaborate well with others and create more capacity.
We highly recommend putting some of your bounce back loan towards a good CRM, a project management tool, and an integrated payment platform.
These three things will help you keep track of your customers, your communications, your staff or associates, and your finances.
More importantly, they’ll provide the foundations on which to build a bigger business.
Don’t dive in too deep or too fast.
If you try and do everything yourself all at once, chances are you’ll fail. Sorry.
Use your plan to identify your quickest wins with the biggest return on investment. Do those first and shelve the rest for later.
Recognise where your strengths are, and use them. As for the rest – outsource it. Whether it means taking on employees, outsourcing to a freelancer or another business, or even consulting a business coach, you’ll want someone around to help you grow.
Don’t pay for what you can get for free.
Our advice always comes for free. If you have any questions or would like some personalised recommendations for your business, come and join us on Facebook.