Running a small business is a challenge, but running a small business during a tough economy is even more challenging. This is partially due to the credit markets becoming tense, as it then becomes a task for any business to secure funds.

For this very purpose, it is important that small businesses have a plan in place that they can implement. It is very crucial for small business owners to secure the needed funds beforehand. The calculations are based on:

  •       How much money would be needed for the business operation during a tough economy?
  •       How much money would be needed in backup, in case some additional costs add up?
  •       What they need to do to realise a profit?

So, if you are trying your luck in this business world, consider the following tips to build your empire even during a tough economy.

1: Find Financing

Before you apply for a loan in a traditional bank, seek advice from your friends and other business owners. You can also consider opinions from expert financial advisors and ask them to review your business plan, making sure that you are not overlooking any crucial factor or making any inaccurate assumptions.

Alternatively, you can also secure funds for your company with the help of alternative financing. The alternative finance industry has been actively helping the small businesses and the start-ups across the country. They offer a variety of funding options at a much lower rate than that of traditional banks. These options include:

  •       Cash flow finance
  •      Invoice financing
  •       Property finance
  •       Overdraft ID

They also provide guidance and advice on which funding option will be most suitable for your business type. No matter what you decide to go with, it is important that you have secured funds before the crisis.

2: Market Smartly

To run a company, especially when the economy is tough takes creativity and ingenuity. To rise above all and get ahead in the game, marketing is important. Considering your business plan, come up with a marketing strategy most suitable to it. You need to know,

  •       What products and services you will be selling?
  •       What audience you will be targeting?
  •       How you plan to price your products and services?
  •       What are your plans for promoting your brand?

A better chance at succeeding is playing by your niche. Fragment your existing customer base to come up with a smaller but profitable segment and target them strategically. For instance, your product or service is more specifically for women, then narrow your target to a specific age range, career type or even geographically.

Alternatively, you can look for ways to alter your products or services to broaden your brand appeals and target audiences. Also, keep an eye on your competition. Keep doing a competitive analysis to know what marketing techniques they are using to build their brand.

3: Start Small – With a Plan to Expand

Start by keeping your expenses and expectations as small as possible. Once the smaller expectations are met, expand your business and your expenses. But before you expand, reconsider your business plan to see whether you have enough resources to meet the needs. For instance, start your company at a smaller and a less expensive area, later expanding it to a bigger and a more commercialised location.

Once you have decided the most affordable location for your business, next you need to decide is  your staffing requirements. While hiring full time employees, consider the positions and number you would require. You can also opt for temporary part-time employees as well as freelancers.

Additionally, be as much realistic as you can be about the employee benefits. It is better to upfront with your employees about the benefits you can afford to offer them.

4: Use Technology to Your Advantage

Keeping your small business upgraded with the latest technology can save you money in various ways and increase your profits. For instance:

  •       It helps you expand your market by increasing sales via multiple online channels
  •       You can opt for email marketing rather than expensive electronic or printing adverts
  •       You can search for successful business ideas from entrepreneurs online and learn useful tips from them
  •       You can also optimise your website for search engines so that you sites ranks at the top of your customers’ searches

·       Also develop affordable marketing strategies, such as using podcasts or webinars through your official website.