Protect your business

Protect your business

Top tips to save it from the economic slowdown

Everybody seems to panic in an economic crisis. This “phenomena” which we haven’t experienced for over 10 years, which in fact one generation has never experienced, which we thought we would never see again, is now dominating our everyday professional and personal lives.

Well, let’s turn it around and look at the positives and opportunities. Within all this turmoil and bad news (and I agree there is a lot) we need to act differently and try to remain optimistic.

If you are running a company, or are about to set-up one, then you need to review many things and maybe do things you hadn’t thought of doing before.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep personal assets separate from company assets: If you set up as a SARL or EURL you are at less risk of losing personal assets if your company was to go into administration. With a notaire’s assistance, you can further protect your family and assets by choosing a séparation de biens regime. It is high risk to include personal property as an asset but an SCI can protect you.
  • Identify the benefit of your product or service to your customer and tell them about it. The correct advertising campaign will more than pay for itself in the long-term. Develop your website to attract new clients – in this online era it is important to have online visibility.
  • Invest in your staff and remember they are your biggest asset: By putting money into staff training you will gain in staff quality and loyalty. If your staff are happy they will want to work hard for you and have a career and not just a job with your company.
  • Communicate well with your staff by being confident and optimistic about your products. If you as the seller have no enthusiasm about your product or service neither will your staff.
  • Network to create opportunity: Often in business it is who and not what you know when it comes to getting your voice heard or your products seen.
  • Buy better and reduce costs: You should reduce your stock so that you have just what you need to be operational. This will avoid an excess of unsold stock. You could also ask your supplier if you can pay for products after they have sold.
  • Protect your prices to protect profits: Be aware of how payments are made within your company. In these taxing times cash payments will prevent an over-estimation of potential profit.
  • Be different from your competitors and value that difference: Offer something more than your competitors, whether it be a more complete service, cheaper prices or a groundbreaking customer satisfaction policy. Keep ahead of your game but remember to tell your potential clients that you are.This is all standard stuff and it’s not reinventing the wheel, but you would be surprised how much of this people forget.

    Similarly with Business Development, during a crisis, all projects are put on the back burner. Well there is no reason for that to happen. There are still great opportunities out there in the market, maybe even more so, during the economic downturn.

    So don’t push back that development project! Go looking for it! In France, as in the UK, there is still plenty of potential and investment opportunity and you may get a better deal today, than when the market was doing well!

    With thanks to Simon Mitchell, Consultant at UCCIMAC in France.

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