How to Recession-Proof Your Business


Everyone is saying a recession is approaching, with increasing pandemics and social disruption, it definitely is about to hit the global economy. But that doesn’t mean you have to shut shop. There are ways to protect your business in the lows of economic fallout.

A recession doesn’t mean all SMEs go bankrupt. In fact, according to federal data in the US, only 170,000 small businesses out of almost seven million shut shop during the 2008 recession. Although the rest weren’t exactly flourishing, they managed to survive for another ten years. While some of the businesses actually made huge sums of profit others managed to get a better understanding of what to do during a recession. But before we dive into all that, we must understand what an economic recession is. Well, an economic recession is simply defined as two continuous financial quarters of negative economic growth followed by a stock market crash and widespread unemployment, and further followed by a crunch in consumer spending, and bank defaults. And the one that worries SMEs: an increase in bankruptcies. But it is not a norm, and there are ways to withstand another Great Recession.

Here are a few measures that will help you tide over difficult times.

Financial expense tracking and analysis
If you don’t have an expense tracking and financial strategy already in place, its time you get one. The first thing that stops during a recession is your cash flow. If you don’t have an expense tracking system that automatically sums up your expenses on a daily basis, there is a high chance you will miss out on reading the red flags early on. A recession is a gradual and then explosive economic shift. And if you only look at your budget during the tax season, you wouldn’t know how to make good cuts when a financial crisis comes knocking your door. This will also improve your spending habit and make sure you are not wasting money.

Good employees make a great business
The people making your sales on a daily basis are your biggest asset. They are working towards your success, and its best to not ignore them. These very people can make sure your business survives no matter what because they have a vested interest. Hence, you should make sure they are well trained and really a part of your team. The first thing employers start doing when a recession hits is fire employees who don’t contribute, that is silly because you hired such people in the first place. Therefore, you need to have a talented lot as your team, not average people with a degree, but talented and motivated people. The point is, your employees make your business, you should take care of them, and have a recession salary cut agreement with them, so you don’t lose the most valuable asset. And train them effectively so they can sail through the recession with you.

A solid marketing strategy
The most underrated aspect of a good business is the friendships you create. If you have a solid relationship with your client, they are likely to not drop you when times are tough. And the best way to build a relationship is through a good marketing strategy. Get to know your clients, and make them understand your ethics and values as a business through marketing channels. This may mean nothing when you have loads of clients but when your clients are making budget cuts, this will play a very big role in determining what they hold back and what they let go. It is also, therefore, important that you are flexible with payments. Even if a client is willing to retain your service during a recession, they might not be able to pay you upfront. You can set up installment system for the said clients.

                       Also Read: Recession-Busting Tips for Small Businesses

Concluding thoughts
It is almost impossible to make a business 100% recession-proof, but by adopting these measures, you can ensure your business’ survival during tough times.

Simple Ways To Optimize Your Billing Process


Atradius, a prominent financial institution operating in the insurance sector, estimates that 39% of all invoices in the USA are paid late, and that the companies are asked for an extension in the deadline for the invoice payments 52% percent of the time. Invoices area crucial aspect of business operations, and getting late payments for the services rendered or the products you sold canfrustrate you greatly.

For a small business, the billing process can be quite complicated and time-consuming. Despite the emergence of automated software that is constantly figuring out how to reduce delays and errors in the billing procedure, occasionally an issue may crop up, causing trust issues between the business owner and their client.

The process of improving the billing process flow is never-ending, but it can yield results that can enhance the output you get from your billing software. Here are a few suggestions youcan follow to optimize your billing process.

  • Automate your billing process
    Automating your billing processes can go a long way in ensuring the smooth operation of your business. Make sure you get the billing software for business that can help you create custom recurring invoices, track their status, keepsensitive client data securely, and schedule and send reminders for payment as well. This will not just save you a lot of time, money, and effort, but also reduce your stress levels.
  • Provide complete information
    Providing relevant and complete information to your customers is key for your process for billing to go smoothly. Many business owners tend to make the mistake of focusing too much on their invoice designs rather than ensuring that it has crucial information, such as a description of the product/ service, the order and invoice number, total amount, the last date for payment, acceptable modes of payment, the terms of payment, and contact details as well. A thankyou note to the customers, which shows you care, can also be a welcome addition to the invoice.
  • Establish terms
    To increase your chances of getting paid on time, make sure you establish the payment terms and policies with the client beforehand. Tell the customer what you expect, ensure that they are comfortable with it, and also let them know what the penalties are for violating the terms.Theywill appreciate the effort and thought that has gone into the process. Establishing these ground rules will foster an atmosphere of trust between the stakeholders.
  • Make your invoice impressive
    Sending out an easy-on-the-eye invoice is important as the client can gauge your level of commitment just by looking at the invoice. Always ensure to personalize the invoice as the customers feel special when you do that. Whileyou need to ensure that the invoice is well-designed and attractive, it should not take precedence over simplicity.
  • Monitor the payments
    It is quite prudent to keep track of what stage of the billing process you are at. Monitoring the payments is crucial as it allows you to ensure that the invoices are error-free and reaching on time while also providing you with constant feedback on the billing software you use.
  • Get on the cloud
    This will allow you the flexibility and accessibility that is necessary for today’s competitive business environment. Cloud-based systems not only speed up the process and eliminate irrelevant data from your system, but it will also allow you the luxury of monitoring the data from wherever you want.

Closing thoughts
Success in business often boils down to how smooth the operations are, and getting your invoicing right is a key part of that process. It doesn’t have to be a painful and confusing journey as long as you have the right tools – clear payment policy and an automated billing system – that keeps your billing process running like clockwork.

Three Ways to Protect Your Business From Cyber Threats


Over the course of the past 20 years, the growing threat of data breaches, hacks, and malware intrusions into businesses has made headline news. We’re all familiar with the horror stories: the huge data losses, the systems failures, and the resultant fines or customer exodus. In this article, you’ll learn how to mitigate these risks, and how to prepare your business for potential cyber risks that can befall any-sized company at any time. Use the tips contained here to protect your business from cyber threats and to grant you peace of mind in the digital space.

Insurance

With all the protective steps in the world, you may still fall foul of a sophisticated hack or cyberattack that your company was simply unable to prevent. If a group of hackers, for instance, decide to try to hack your digital infrastructure, they’ll probably be able to find a back door through which to enter your system. This means that you should get an insurance policy to protect yourself against these worst-case scenarios.

You can find competitively priced cyber liability insurance online, which will help you to cover the costs of the kind of cyber intrusions we’ve seen in the news in the past two decades. This insurance varies, but often it’ll protect you from fines and it’ll help you to recover financially from data breaches or systems failures.

Cybersecurity

Meanwhile, your first line of defense when it comes to cyber threats is undoubtedly your cybersecurity. This program or software package will help you to keep your computers and your network safe from harm—with a firewall, a malware blocker, and various other technological tools to help you avoid a breach in your business’ systems.

There are two points that you need to keep in mind when shopping for cybersecurity software. You’re looking to see which software covers multiple devices at once—especially important when you’re working from home—and you need to find a package that supports and protects the data that you store on the Cloud. With these two boxes ticked, you’ll have found a robust and reliable cybersecurity option for your enterprise.

Training and Education 

Unfortunately, cyber threats often contaminate your digital systems after a member of your team has accessed content that enabled a hack, a viral infection to your computers, or a data loss. It’s in these cases—where your employee clicks on a phishing link or opens a spam email—where you may experience the biggest weak spots in your protective policy on cybersecurity.

The best way to protect against this kind of threat—the one that takes advantage of a lack of staff knowledge about security in the digital world—is to train your staff. If you’re able to get everyone in your team up to speed with viruses and online threats, you’ll be better placed to prevent them from infecting your IT infrastructure in the future. Run an internal training session in order to help your employees practice good cyber hygiene in the future. 

The three tips outlined above should help you to achieve peace of mind when it comes to cyber threats and difficulties in the future of your business’s lifecycle.