in Uncertain Times – 3 ways you can have Certainty in your Business
I originally wrote a version of this blog in 2016 – not long after The Brexit Vote. I wrote this immortal sentence “Whether you are happy about #Brexit or not, one thing is certain – we are going to be living in uncertain times for a while yet”.
I have to admit, that will less than 50 days to go, I hardly expected to be writing essentially the same blog! At the time I set out the reasons for communicating to your customers so that we could all work towards an end goal – but we still don’t really know what that will look like!
If you regularly trade with the EU as it stands, then organisations such as the FSB and the Chambers can help you to understand what it is you will need to do – and hopefully you have already made plans.
If you’re a small business just working and trading in the UK then there is likely to be some disruption, and the points I made in 2016 still hold. For everyone – these points still stand – so here they are again!
As we all know, there is still uncertainty. But the best thing you can do is keep the channel to your customers open and reassure them that you have a plan! Keep talking to your customers– it may put you one step ahead of your competitors! Use the resources available to keep abreast of developments but above all be positive! Answer any questions as honestly as you can and above all make sure you do respond! Put information on your website and communicate on social media – we are open for business!
Now is the time to really understand your customer base. Where are they, what sectors are they in, where do THEY do business? Take the time to organise your customers – preferably in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system – so that you really understand where the threats and opportunities are. There will be – there always are – people who can make the most out of any situation. Why shouldn’t it be you!? Think about who your ideal customer is (see previous post on Buyer Personas) – that may have changed in the light of recent events? By knowing your customer base now you can plan so much better for the future.
It’s time to systematise your business – if you haven’t done so already. Now is a great opportunity to implement robust processes in your business so that you have a consistent way of dealing with any and every situation. Map out your sales process from inbound lead to final sale. Document the stages, and make sure every member of staff is on the same page. Have standard templates for everything – from confirmation emails to sales letters.
No – we don’t STILL know yet exactly what’s coming, but some simple steps in the next few weeks could help address the changes that we will be facing.