Maintain Stability During Market Volatility
Alt title: What You Need to Do to Stay Afloat During Volatile Times
As a small business owner, you’re no stranger to market volatility. You know it can throw off your cash flow and pressure your bottom line. You’re also probably familiar with the fact that small businesses are often more vulnerable than their larger counterparts to adverse market conditions.
So, how do you stay afloat? The first step is to understand what volatility is and how it affects your business as a whole.
What Is Market Volatility?
In its simplest terms, volatility refers to the degree of instability in a market or economy. Generally speaking, a volatile market tends to experience sharp fluctuations in price over a short period of time.
There are two types of volatility, each having different effects on your business.
Systematic Volatility: This type of volatility is largely outside your control. It occurs due to interest rates, inflation, unemployment, and government policies. These forces are often beyond your control, but you should factor them into your business plan and financial projections.
Unsystematic Volatility: This type of volatility is caused by events in the market that affect individual companies or industries. It’s often the result of circumstances specific to your business, such as an unfair trade practice or a lawsuit. You can mitigate unsystematic volatility by improving your competitive position and developing contingency plans for dealing with these events.
While the two types of volatility can be challenging to predict, you can take steps to reduce your exposure and protect yourself from their effects. If you play your cards right, you can make the most of even the most challenging market conditions.
Here are some tips to help weather the storm and keep your business afloat during volatile times.
Keep an Eye on Trends
It’s crucial to stay on top of what’s happening in the market, so you can identify any emerging opportunities or threats before they become problems. If a new technology might affect your industry, find out more about it so you know how it could impact your business model. If there’s a new competitor on the scene, see if you can learn anything from them.
If they have a different approach to doing things, it may be worth considering whether it could work for you too. It’s also essential that your business is ready for any changes that come along. Make sure your infrastructure and processes are flexible enough to adapt when needed.
Stay Focused On Your Goals
In times of turbulence and uncertainty, it can be challenging to keep your eye on the prize—but if you want to maintain stability during market volatility, it’s essential to stay focused on your goals. Keep this in mind: Your first goal should be to know yourself and how you work best.
Set measurable and achievable goals, so you can track progress along the way and make adjustments if necessary. Also, consider what’s meaningful for you as a business owner and whether any personal or business strategies align with these goals—or vice versa!
Remember that it’s not just about making money but also about creating a sustainable business model that allows you to do what you love and gives back to the world. Finally, remember that no matter what happens, there will always be people who need your services.
Know Your Cash Flow and Lock It In
In the context of a business, cash flow is the money that comes in from customers and goes out to vendors and employees. Cash flow can also refer to the time it takes for a business to collect payment from its customers after providing goods or services (the lag time between when you receive money and when you have to pay your bills).
Cash flow is one of the greatest killers of small businesses, especially those trying to grow quickly. When you don’t have enough cash coming in or going out, it’s devastating—and can lead to everything terrible, from bankruptcy to missed payrolls.
Cash flow is critical—it’s the one thing you can’t ignore or gloss over. Most people don’t think about cash flow until they have a problem, but if you’re serious about growing your business (or even just surviving), you need to prioritize cash flow.
Here are some tips for improving your cash flow:
- Make sure you have enough money coming in to cover expenses.
- Budget for the future.
- Focus on profitability.
- Try to spend less than you earn.
- Don’t take out loans that will hinder your ability to repay other debts.
- Find ways to reduce costs.
- Take advantage of opportunities for additional revenue streams.
- Ensure you have the right accounting system to track it all.
Never Show Fear to Your Team
The first thing you should do during market volatility is to ensure you have a calm and steady state of mind. You want to lead from a position of strength—not panic. Your employees will notice your demeanor, so they should see that you’re in control.
This does not mean that you should act as if nothing has happened; instead, it means keeping your emotions in check while still acknowledging the reality of the situation.
After calming yourself down, make sure everyone else is on track too by reminding them about their goals for the year or month ahead before discussing any potential plans for working through uncertainty together at work.
Deal with these issues directly and openly, especially those that might be troubling to employees who are worried about how their personal lives will fare in the face of a bad market. Showing your employees where things stand, personally and professionally, gives them confidence in you as a leader.
Know What Your Competitors Are Doing
Keep an eye on your competitors. In addition to being an excellent way to check in on their ideas, it can also help you gauge how you stack up against them.
Competition is healthy for any industry, but it’s essential to remember that there are many different ways companies can compete — not just by trying to outdo each other in terms of price or quality. For example, if a competitor seems to have better products than yours (whether true or not), it might be worth thinking about how you can improve your product to match up with theirs. It’s often less expensive than starting something new and innovative from scratch!
By paying attention to what others are doing within your industry, you’ll be able to stay competitive while still being able to maintain stability during market volatility.
Focus On Your Clients
Don’t ignore your clients. Know your clients and understand what they need, want, and expect from you as a provider. Make sure they know about your expertise, services, and how they can help them achieve their goals. It would help if you also let them know that you have a plan for the future—and that their needs rank high on that list.
Building strong bonds with your clients and sharing openly about the business’s challenges and how you plan to address them can help retain customers when tough times hit. Be honest and transparent with your clients. Don’t overpromise or under-deliver. If you can’t deliver on a promise, let them know why and when you will resolve it.
Even if you have the best communication skills in the world, there will be times when your client is upset with you. If this happens, try to understand why they are upset and address it as quickly as possible. Don’t make excuses or blame others—this won’t help your relationship or build trust.
Stay Lean and Always Plan for a Rainy Day
As a small and growing business, keeping your operations as lean as possible is a great way to ensure you don’t get too overloaded. When you encounter a bump in the road, you’ll be more agile and quickly adapt to the situation.
As with every other aspect of life, you need steady preparation and a contingency plan if you want to be stable during market volatility. The best thing about being prepared is that it can prevent unnecessary stress from getting in the way of doing your best work.
Be ready for anything by keeping a small emergency fund and building up your business’s cash reserves. Not only will you be able to weather the storm of unexpected expenses, but you’ll also have more options to consider when making decisions about how best to proceed. Most importantly, you don’t get too comfortable in one area of your life or business—not even if things are going well.
A strong sense of urgency is what separates the winners from the losers. An effective contingency plan lets you stay focused on what matters most: delivering quality products or services while maintaining profitability by avoiding unnecessary expenses (e.g., paying interest on loans).
The market is unpredictable, and it’s essential always to be ready. Before you start your financial strategy, think about what could go wrong with your business. What is the worst-case scenario? How would you deal with them? If you can’t think of one, now is the time to start brainstorming.
You have nothing to lose by being prepared, but many things are at stake if you aren’t. For more tips on how to prepare your business for the future, check out our other articles. We hope this helps you get started on your financial strategy.