How to Plan For Business Lean Times Ahead

Keeping a company thriving during difficult economic times is challenging. Unfortunately, there’s no particular model to follow to sail safely through the storm and complete the ship. Since every company is unique, it also faces its own set of risks and benefits.

These distinctive elements make replicating another company’s turnaround strategy to the letter unwieldy. Still, some general techniques below are what executives can use to help them come to their senses and bail themselves out.

Look at the Big Picture

People tend to attack the most apparent issues without overthinking them. This happens all the time and is certainly understandable. However, it is also productive to take the time to review the big picture to ensure that you have everything that is still working and what needs modification. It allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the problems faced by your company in terms of system design, as well as the business model’s nature, strengths, and weaknesses.

For example, suppose a small company owner notices that some employees are producing mistakes in checking inventory that result in deficiencies in all supplies and merchandise. A first impulse could be to let them go, but it may be better to see whether the manager who hired and manages them has adequately trained them.

Given that this individual might be fired, it’s not the ideal move to examine the dimensions of the relationship between the manager and current clients. However, suppose the manager has good relationships with present customers who are in a position to generate repeat business and considerable revenue. In that case, they may be someone you would want to retain. So, instead of replacing that individual, it could be a better option to reeducate them.

The owner analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel to assess the problem from a holistic perspective, avoiding any changes in personnel that could adversely influence future sales.

Fix a similar kind of lens for analyzing how your product or service fits into the marketplace now, how the financial downturn has affected your customers and suppliers, and all the other different aspects of your business. But, again, it would be best if you understood how well your business model fits into the current context of the marketplace and projected what various future scenarios mean for your business model.

Inventory Your Staff

Staying on top of payroll costs is a vital concern for small businesses, so taking the time to ensure the money is appropriately spent is a good idea. One way to do this may be to ensure an effective system that provides for regular rankings of those responsible for their work. Small businesses and those larger companies often make the mistake of hiring the cheapest workers. Occasionally, the productivity of those workers may be dubious. Hiring the right people is one of the most effective strategies for lean times. 

Ensure Access to Cash

Business owners should take steps to guard their small businesses in emergency circumstances. Talking to a banker and finding out what it requires to get a loan is an excellent first step, and opening a line of credit ahead of time gives your company access to cash in case of a short-term cash crunch. Maintaining a positive relationship with a banker is vital for a small business.

Entrepreneurs should have other available sources of capital as well. A small business owner must have available money or have a creative way to get through lean times. Lean planning is essential for all businesses, and every company must create a lean business plan.

Start Sweating the Small Stuff

Keeping an eye on the big picture is essential, but small businesses shouldn’t ignore minor issues. For example, small difficulties such as the presence of an enormous tree obscuring the public’s view of the business or the company’s signage. Low parking availability and the fact that there are not many customers on the roads are also some of the causes for a business to lose a considerable amount of money.

Evaluating the factors that drive customers to your business can support incontrovertible insight regarding issues. Analyzing income and expenditures may also assist.

Companies should not investigate one-time expenses on their own, as most of those expenses were probably required overhead. Instead, they should search for small costs that seem insignificant but leak the business’s account.

For example, office supplies can add up if ordered incorrectly. In this manner, you could also examine other providers to ensure they will charge you the best price for the merchandise.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality

In adverse conditions, keeping a close tab on expenses is essential. In addition, business owners need to be creative in getting employees on board with the new strategies they’re implementing. However, be sure never to compromise quality when making those changes. You must avoid life-altering changes to your core elements when seeking to boost profits.

How do you survive lean times?

Companies can reduce the costs they incur during difficult times. This can entail laying off support staff or executives taking a pay cut temporarily. Companies manufacturing a physical product can switch suppliers, while other companies may decide to reduce material costs. Companies can also raise equity or obtain additional debt, which can be risky. 


When times are tough for your business, it’s essential that now more than ever, you maintain an even head. Often, a simple answer could assist you in keeping the company running that you wouldn’t have noticed if you were too caught up or preoccupied with minor considerations. You must also create a lean business plan and implement strategies to help you get through lean times. Lean planning works wonders when done periods in advance. Remember that being good at your work and doing your job as efficiently as possible is at the top of the concerns while going through tough times.

Exemplary, effective and efficient, Moolamore would be able to help you and your business get through lean times! Contact us to learn more. Do more with Moolamore!