Three tips for keeping your business booming during tough economic times

Guest post by Geoffrey Morgan, part of the Small Business team at Intuit.

No one likes an economic downturn. No matter what your business is, if you need customers and want them to spend money, a wallet clenching trend is bad news. Thankfully, there are a number of business principles that’ll help carry you through the trough and onto the next upward trend. Here are three to consider.

1. Keep the money flowing. Easier said than done, but have you looked closely at who your best customers are, and which suppliers offer the best deals and most flexible terms? A customer who pays late likely isn’t a customer to have in these times. Study your records and make the right decisions about who you’ll focus on. Financial management software like QuickBooks will identify your best and worst customers and suppliers.

2. Keep communicating. Your customers need to know you’re open for business. Yes, a birthday email is good, but also think about how you can leverage your data – it’ll tell you why Jane Smith is your customer, where her needs lie and give you the material you need for positive communication. Communicate regularly so you develop a cadence of interaction, rather than random one-offs. Cultivate as many customer relationships as you can and you’ll keep people walking through your door.

3. Cut the administration and focus on your business. Many shine when it comes to the sales aspect of their business, but get stuck when keeping up the books. Accounting duties can be frustrating and time consuming and when dollars are tight, time away from your customers can be a killer. Automate the bookkeeping and use software that gives you a dashboard of the most critical elements (invoices due, overdue customers, P&L, etc) and spend the rest of your precious hours growing the business.

By Adam

November 30, 2011