Regardless of the size of your company, a bad quarter is stressful. However, a bad quarter is especially hard for small business owners, since it can often determine whether or not their business will continue to function. A single bad quarter can lead to a lot of anxiety. You worry over what happened and if it’s just a temporary problem or a sign of the future of the company. If you’ve recently had a bad quarter, do not panic. Instead, look over these ways you can improve for the next quarter.
Monitor cash flow & budget
Running a business isn’t only watching money coming in, it’s also about studiously watching the money going out and knowing exactly where it’s going. Pay attention to both parts of your cash flow to ensure that your money is being managed efficiently and properly. Streamline this process to catch mistakes earlier and save time reading numbers. It’s also important to spend time creating a budget, particularly if you do not already have one. Having a budget helps you avoid overspending and leading to another bad quarter.
Cultivate happy employees
The reason you had a bad quarter likely doesn’t fall solely on your employees, but it’s important to make sure they’re satisfied and happy with their jobs. Happy employees lead to better customer service. It’s also important to remember that your employees may be stressed over the results of the last quarter. Rather than letting them stress and worry, make doing better a competition and set individual goals for teams. Provide different types of rewards and you’ll see a boost in morale that helps everyone bounce back.
Make small changes
It’s tempting after a bad quarter to make drastic changes. However, it’s better for your business to make small tweaks here and there. Rather than switching out distributors or cutting a line of products, try launching a new social media campaign or having a huge sale to draw in fresh customers. Examine the way you’re currently doing business and see if any small adjustments can be made.
Review your business plan
You made the business plan and then you forgot about it. However, if you’ve suffered a bad quarter, it’s time to review that business plan and see what’s working and what isn’t. It’s also a good way to see how far you’ve come, and to assess if you’ve reached any milestones.
Set quarterly goals
Don’t just aim for more incoming cash. Set goals on how to earn it, where you want it to come from, and how to cut down outward cash flow. You can also get your employees in on the action by having a contest for suggestions on quarterly goals. You can give out a grand prize or several prizes to those with the best ideas.
You don’t have to feel great after a bad quarter, but you can definitely take measures to make sure you don’t let it negatively affect your business. Tweak, alter, adjust, and keep moving forward.