Chances are if you are an entrepreneur, you have a business, your business will face some sort of a crisis during its existence. This can be a crisis just within your company, or a crisis in the sector you are active in, or the country or region you are from, and it can even be a worldwide crisis. Think of the 2008 financial crisis, or the current COVID-19 crisis. This will give you a sense that most of us, and most of our businesses can be hit by a major disturbing force like that, they are definitely not impossible and they are not very rare. With this in mind, you will be better prepared to face any economic hardship, any shock, if you are prepared for it. There are many key factors to keep in mind to prepare to face any type of crisis, but one major area is how to retain your most loyal client during a crisis. Your customers drive your business, they will provide your income and cash flow during the time of the crisis. Any crisis can be navigated with proper contingency plans and with sufficient cash flow. Your mindset should be cutting any unnecessary expenses, partnerships, cut staff costs and identify your best partners and most loyal customers. They have been the ones that carried your business through good times, and now they are your chance of escaping any economic downturn.
Whether it is an internal crisis within your company, or a global one, such as a financial crisis, you must have an open honest and effective communication with your stakeholders, your business partners, your employees and your customers. They will all look for clear and concise information during any turbulence, and you should keep permanent contact with them. Thus, you must have a communication plan for various crisis scenarios, and know who will be doing that communication, and who will be the recipients.
If there is a crisis that is affecting a large portion of the population, or businesses, such as a financial crisis, a pandemic, a natural disaster, you must acknowledge that you are not the only one affected by it. Most likely, your business partners and customers will be affected by it too. They will also try to seek their interest, and to cut any unnecessary expenses, and get the best value out of their spending. They are also concerned about the turbulent event, and looking for ways of navigating it with as little damage as possible. You will want to identify who is the most loyal client during a crisis, engage with them, show them the benefits of keeping their business with you. Offer them incentives, such as discounts if they pay their invoices, or if they keep buying from you. But, most importantly, show them you are in this together, these hard times will eventually end, and that it is possible for all to escape these times. Not only that, but even to prosper and grow once they are over, and learn good lessons from them. Focusing on the most important clients for your business will ensure their future loyalty, and the necessary cash flow for you to get over even the most difficult challenges your business is facing.