Given the rich industrial history of Lancashire, it is no wonder that there are so many entrepreneurs springing up in the area right now. However, if this is your first time going it alone and starting a business, you can’t simply rely on historical examples to guide you towards success – you need some actionable advice that is bang up to date. After all, starting a business is stressful, lonely and a little overwhelming at the best of times – but these are particularly difficult days for entrepreneurs.
With an incredibly volatile economy, a lack of cheap interest rates and consumers who are struggling to keep their heads above water, it is tough to find the positives if you are thinking about starting a company in the current climate. Indeed, arguably the sternest challenge you will face right now as a budding entrepreneur is the cost-of-living crisis, which continues to worsen by the day.
While the cost-of-living crisis is proving a heavy burden for individuals to carry, it is likely worse for small businesses in Lancashire. This is because these companies have to shoulder huge overhead bills every month, deal with customers who don’t have as much spending power as they used to, and spend more and more on materials or products they need to provide their services.
Therefore, it is imperative that, as a local Lancashire business owner, you find ways to navigate this murky climate and find actionable solutions to make your business stronger than ever. The following article is a guide as to how you can counter the negative impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
Invest in the right infrastructure
Despite the headache that the cost of living crisis and other current events are causing, they don’t actually change the fundamentals of what makes an organisation successful. It doesn’t matter whether your business pays more or less for its overheads, you have to make sure that you have the right infrastructure in place to run an efficient company.
Obviously the nature of this infrastructure will depend entirely upon your industry and business model, but there is a common method you can use to identify the right infrastructure for your specific company.
Start by assessing your specific business requirements; keep growth projections, present and future market trends, as well as customer demands, in mind when you do this. You can then invest in the right tooling, machinery or other resources to hit the targets you are setting for yourself. For example, if you are running a manufacturing business then you might invest in a vacuum system.
Build a strong brand
Another way to ensure that your business survives the current cost of living crisis is to develop a strong and recognisable brand that stands out in the marketplace and effortlessly attracts new customers towards it.
Now, obviously this is much easier said than done, but it is a target you should be aiming for from the offset. Too many local businesses start out too modestly, earnestly copying what everyone else in their industry is doing, without bothering to put their own spin on it or inject any of their unique personality into the brand.
To help with this brand building, you should consider investing heavily in social media, website content and paid advertising online. This will help your brand to stand out from the crowd, and mean that consumers will prioritise spending their hard earned money with you rather than your competitors.
For instance, if you run a local bakery then launching an Instagram campaign showing off your delicious delicacies is a fantastic way to drive up interest. You could even hire local influencers to market the brand for you.
Hire the right people
No business can thrive without having the right people in place. You need to hire experts in their field for your local Lancashire business, who can each bring different qualities to the table and expand the collective skillset of your company.
However, hiring people is not just about finding the most skilled candidates, but also the people who are going to fit in the smoothest with your existing culture and ethos. If someone simply doesn’t share your values, it will only bring the workplace morale and productivity levels down, so be careful who you bring into the fold.
Having a strong brand will help with the hiring process, because not only will more people want to work with you, but it will deter anyone who doesn’t feel like they align with your ethos, or yourmessaging.