In times of uncertainty, whether due to economic pressures, personal reasons or something else entirely, it’s important to have a plan. Something to fall back on when it looks like things are about to come unstuck.
This week we’re looking at the tools and techniques you can use to steady the ship when you think you may be entering stormy waters:
Focus on the things you can control…
- Look after your staff
If you’re feeling unsure about what’s ahead, it’s a fairly safe bet that your staff will be too. And worried staff don’t make for good customer service. So, put on your positive face and talk to your team about what’s going on, making sure you tell them all the plans you have to make sure you all come out of the situation stronger. Tell them what you know, even if it isn’t that much and be as open and honest as you can be – without scaremongering. Ultimately your staff will thank you for it and you should see improvements in their confidence and performance as a result.
- But put on your own oxygen mask first
Volatility can be stressful for any business owner. But letting everything get you down won’t help anyone. Make sure you take time out to give yourself a breather. Working all hours won’t, in most cases, solve your problems and will instead leave you exhausted. Seek help from mentors or others within your network to make sure your mental health doesn’t suffer and so that you can continue to lead your team with the positivity they need from you.
- Concentrate on cash flow
When you’re facing a period of uncertainty it’s even more vital that you understand your numbers and use them to make informed decisions. Think twice about the items you’re spending on and ensure you’re likely to get a good ROI for any investments you do choose to make. Review your incomings and outgoings regularly to make sure you pick up any potential problems early and can put a plan in place to resolve them.
- Plan for feast and famine
While the going is good, make sure you regularly put money aside for those rainy days that will inevitably come. By planning financially for times of uncertainty you’ll be in a much better position to cope with a rocky patch. And if you never need to use the cash you’ve set aside, you’ll have a useful little pot for investment at some point in the future.
…but don’t forget to look to the future too
Even in times of volatility, business can’t be all about reactionary management and tightening your belt. If you want to come out of a period of uncertainty in a good position, you’ll also need to think about how to increase your chances of making more sales despite the conditions.
- Use Kyero data to predict trends
Here at Kyero, we see buying trends change all the time: The locations people are searching in, the types of properties they’re after and even the nationalities of buyers. By keeping an eye on the data we share, you can make sure you fill your property portfolio with the kinds of properties that buyers will be looking for. We publish regular reports and summary articles to help you stay up to date and allow you to plan a property acquisition strategy that is right for the changing climate.
- Offer different types of properties
The type of property that investors see as ‘safe’ may change during times of economic uncertainty. For instance, luxury villas may become less appealing if they are considered a greater risk. Conversely, it may be that certain types of people are affected more than others by a downturn. It could be that the people interested in luxury villas are largely unaffected and therefore continuing to purchase, while those buying mid-sized city apartments are the ones who are having to rein in their budgets.
With all this in mind, it’s worth making sure you have a variety of different properties on your books, so they will appeal to different types of buyers.
- Consider diversifying your service
Give yourself the best chance of survival in a difficult market by increasing the types of services you offer to customers. That way if one area experiences a downturn, another could potentially tide you over until the uncertainty has passed.
Perhaps consider offering a rental property or managed service to capture interest from those looking to invest in a holiday home. If people are feeling nervous about buying, it may be that they’re happier to take a rental property, against which they can potentially achieve an income, while they see how things pan out.
Uncertainty is a fact of the modern business world. But that doesn’t mean you should panic if you feel yourself heading for volatile times. By aiming to reduce your costs, doing your research and thoughtfully diversifying your portfolio and services, there is no reason that you won’t come out on the other side of any rocky patch in a strong position.