Five ways to help businesses in tough times

Two people sit at a high table, facing each other with a laptop between them.

Grant is the founder of one of Wellington’s leading property management companies Comprendé, and a high-growth leader and advisor at GrowNZ. He has expertise in helping businesses put in place and deliver viable growth strategies.

Having been in business in New Zealand and Asia for more than 30 years, Grant has experienced the highs and lows of business and economic cycles.

He believes these five tips can help businesses get through challenging times.

1. Be human

Reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Connect on a human level, ask them what is happening in their world, how are they coping, and how their teams are. This is not a sales call. Just be human. Try it. You will feel better, and your connections will as well.

2. Seek help if you’re busy

Hire a student to help you. Student Job Search runs an amazing free hiring service. Delegate a project or give some specific tasks to a talented student — 10 to 20 hours of flexible work could fit in around their studies. You will be helping both of you.

3. Make the most of downtime

Spend some time reviewing your systems and processes. Make it a team activity — what is working, what could we do better, what frustrates your team? Choose a few processes and improve your business.

4. Think about your approach to sales

Sales is pretty frightening to most businesses. Do you understand where your sales come from? Which clients generate a good profit margin? Do you have clients that cost you money to service? Compile a list of clients and the revenue they generated over the past 12 months. Then review the inputs (labour, raw materials), and evaluate the profitability. Consider which are your A clients and which ones are costing you money.

5. Identify and engage with new clients

New business or growth of existing clients is important. When was the last time you proactively won a new client? Proactive means that you identified a prospective client, engaged with them and then won their business. It’s not easy, it takes time, patience, research, and focus. So what better time than now to strategically think about sales?