Small Business, Big Economy: Five Tips to Stay Ahead of the Curve When Wall Street Starts Going Down

wall street blog postWith the never-ending ups and downs of the economy, the stereotypes of stockbrokers on Wall Street are far from surprising. While the window jumping, hair ripping, and self destructive shenanigans of brokers may seem something far removed from the world of small Chicago businesses, we at Accounting Solutions Ltd. (773-267-7500) must warn you that this is not always the case. In fact, the eddies and flows of the economy on a large scale can very well be present in the everyday operations of much smaller entities. As we have mentioned previously, diving into the Chicago business scene without the help of a seasoned tax accountant, can be extremely risky.
Concerned? Scared even? Well, don’t fear. We have assembled a list of ideas that will help your small business thrive regardless of the nation’s current financial state. One important mantra to follow is that no matter the economy you find yourself in, people will continue to buy goods and services. By being properly prepared for downturns using the advice of a good CPA, your small business will have a solid chance of getting through any bad economy.
1.) Innovation is Key: Going on autopilot in a recession is no way to stay open. By taking the practical steps necessary to continue pushing the innovation envelope, you can be doing something that your competitors probably aren’t. Keeping ahead of the curve in tough economic times may be something that is strenuous and time consuming, but it will ultimately pay off once an upturn rolls around. As any veteran entrepreneur will tell you, bad economies can be good for a business. Your weaker competitors will go out of business leaving their customers and market share up for grabs. When that happens you want to be the innovator out their asking for business, so that you can emerge from a bad economy stronger than ever.
2.) Marketing is Also Key: As mentioned above, staying ahead of the curve is something that you should strive to do especially when times are tough. Marketing is no exception. With recent technological avenues such as the Internet (ever heard of it?) making it easier and less expensive to reach consumers, there is really no excuse for a stagnant economy to hinder the marketing output of your business.
3.) Watch Your Taxes: This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many small Chicago businesses we have seen essentially throwing money away during a recession by neglecting to properly handle their taxes. Hiring a reliable CPA can radically reduce the amount of money that you and your company owes when tax season comes around. Unless you are operating in the red or happen to have an intimate understanding of our tax laws, having a good accountant can really go a long way when the economy is in a slump and every dollar counts.
4.) Manage Your Priorities Effectively: When faced with an economic crises, companies have a tendency to try to retain the internal structure that they had before the problems arose. This can potentially lead to stagnation, inadvertently keeping components of their business that may not be necessary. The solution? Prioritize early by making sure that your employees, are trained to maximize performance. You may have to do more with less. Also remember that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. When its time to cut, don’t spend a year thinking about it. Go ahead and cut before its too late.
5.) Truth is (Another) Key: Being honest to your co-workers, employees, and stakeholders is ultimately one of the most critical components of management during an economic downturn. By remaining truthful and exercising transparency, you will be able to provide a more personable and equitable experience for all of those involved in the workings of your small business. Exercising honesty and making sure that your people are up to date is something that will inevitably pay off through loyalty and mutual respect once the economy starts to climb back to its former perch. But please be careful in this regard. To much can be exactly that. If you are having difficult economic times and you completely level with your staff, they may begin to interview elsewhere. Transparency has its limits.
Our contemporary business scene is full of risk and uncertainty. With the economy remaining in a perpetually unpredictable state, it is always important to keep your business prepared. We at Accounting Solutions Ltd. hope that the following ideas will help you take the proper steps to ensure that you are able to handle any economic downturn. Be mindful of these points, and please remember that we can help. Please contact us at (773) 267-7500.