With the help of Andy Salmon, Serial Entrepreneur and Associate Professor for Enterprise and Corporate Development at Birmingham City Business School, we offer four strategies designed to help your business growing through this difficult period.
1. Manage Your Prices Carefully
When inflation hits and consumer spending power drops, companies are often hesitant to raise prices and very quick to drop them. “Due to price sensitivity within markets, there is a temptation to reduce your prices” says Andy. “Don’t – instead focus upon the value proposition of your products. Spend time looking at how you can build greater value into your current service offering that fits the needs of your customer today.”
Although the current economic conditions are difficult, customers are willing to spend on services that they value. Not all but many consumers have accumulated cash and saved over the pandemic and can absorb price hikes if they deem it worthy.
2. Prioritise Your Lucrative Services
With a rapidly changing economic environment being agile is key to continuing to grow, and changing your products and delivery to respond to this. However, many companies are constrained in their ability to adapt to changing customer’s demands with lack of staff and issues with deliveries.
Although not ideal in a more stable environment, prioritising your most lucrative and high-margin product orders first enables you to limit your financial risk.
3. Be Flexible
Flexibility is key in an ever-changing business world. “It’s important that your ambidextrous in such a situation” says Andy. “Have two sets of business eyes, one on the here and now, and one that focuses on the horizon looking at the opportunities and threats that come over the hill.”
Rather than this just being an approach that is adopted by the managing directors of the company, Andy believes that this flexibility needs to be shared across the business and it’s vital that siloes and hierarchies don’t get in the way.
“Multiple people from different backgrounds need to be looking at this in your business. Leadership need to be willing to review these ideas, encourage the team to contribute and accept them – giving the whole team a role.”
Changes in relative prices is just one area where businesses can get caught out if they react too slowly or quickly – it’s important that you use the whole of your business to review and predict your next steps.
4. Get a Helping Hand
Regardless of the situation your business is in, there are always external support programmes that can help you learn and develop new ways of thinking to get yourself out of a tricky situation.
Many programmes such as the government’s ‘Help To Grow’ programme are developed as a response to contemporary business issues such as high-inflation, and help cover the challenges and opportunities you may face at this time.
“Business can be tough at the top” says serial entrepreneur Andy. “When it comes to people I always recommend that they seek out external business support so that they can take on that knowledge and apply it to their business in a personalised way. Also accepting business support opens you up to meet other business and a greater chance of finding new business opportunities.”
Would you like to find out how your business can grow through learning new techniques? Find out how our part-funded 12-week ‘Help To Grow’ programme can drive your revenue in the current business climate.