As all business owners know, it can be hard to keep up with all the different aspects of your company. You have your everyday tasks covered and then all of a sudden – something else pops up out of the blue! That’s the theme of today’s blog post – learning how to deal with those unexpected moments.
1. Always leave room in the budget
When you’re estimating how much everything’s going to cost, obviously you want to keep it as low as possible. But if you don’t factor in unexpected costs, you could end up spending MORE money in the long run. For example, say there’s a sudden opportunity in the market to sell more product, but you need to run advertising for it right away before your competitor snaps up all the leads. If you don’t have the budget to get it done right away, you’ll end up losing a ton of sales. That little extra will end up going a long way to make sure your business stays up and running.
2. Have backup resources lined up and ready
When unexpected costs pop up, you’ll want to sort it out as soon as possible. What you don’t want to do is scramble around last-minute to try and find a solution! Make sure you have as many resources as possible lined up as backups, to save yourself tons of time. One of our all-time favourite tools for this is Fiverr – a one-stop-shop for taking care of all those little surprises, for as little as $5USD! We recommend clicking the link and saving it as a favourite on your browser so that you have it whenever you need.
3. Plan ahead – like, really far ahead
Everyone knows the key to life is planning, right? Planning your budget, planning your marketing strategy, and planning your vacation! The best way to make sure you’re prepared is to plan as early as possible, for as much as possible. The more you plan, the more you actually realise how much work it’s going to take. If you have big ideas for your Christmas promo this year but it seems like a while away, IT’S NOT! Start planning it now so you can figure out a budget, how you’re going to achieve that budget, how much time it’s going to take, and where you’re going to find that time. This will ensure that you can work efficiently when the time comes, and have spare time to deal with emergencies (and plan your New Years getaway!).
4. Know the patterns
When you’re properly prepared, you know what to expect – and you recognise the signs that something may be amiss. If you’re able to quickly spot an unexpected change in your usual numbers, you’ll be able to address it right away before it worsens. In order to spot these changes quickly, you need to be intimately familiar with what normal fluctuation looks like for your business, so you can identify issues that require immediate action. We recommend SEMrush to help you monitor your data and familiarise yourself with these patterns – it’s what we use here at DIY, and we can personally attest to its reliability! It’s helped us to recognise issues in our strategy countless times, and has helped us immensely in our preparedness!
5. Have your focus in the right places
Your business is multi-faceted – and this means it can sometimes feel like you have to be everywhere at once, right? As business professionals ourselves, we’ve definitely felt this way, and we know that the stress can sometimes make you run around like a headless chicken! There are some things that can be put on autopilot, and some things that need constant monitoring. For example, you probably need to have an eye on your ROI at all times, as well as your revenue and profit margins, and of course meeting sales targets… Those need real human interaction and monitoring at all times in order to ensure they’re the best they can be. Some things, like customer relationship management, can be easily automated so that your focus is in the right places! A great place to start is Pipedrive – it’ll manage all of your customer communication for you, giving you a TON of extra time to focus on the things that really matter!
6. Be Flexible
Last but not least – always stay flexible. Once you get a certain idea in your head about how your business should operate, it can be easy to start relying on it. But entire industries are being rewritten every day – just look at the taxi industry! Okay, okay, we know this is an extreme example. But the point still remains: you need to be able to make changes to your business regularly in order to stay up-to-date with what your market wants and needs. There are some things you simply don’t see coming, and can’t plan for. (That’s why you need to Expect the Unexpected!) Just don’t write anything in stone – allow room in your plans for sudden changes, and don’t be afraid to take risks.