How to Bounce Back From a Bad Quarter
- June 25, 2021
- Posted by: Funmilola Sanya
- Category: Business Advice
Nothing hurts a business owner or entrepreneur like the pain of a bad quarter, and it is not uncommon for a business to record losses at the end of a certain period. Between unrealised goals set for the quarter, poor generated revenue, missed opportunities, poor customer retention, failed partnerships, unfavorable market conditions, and other matters, it’s easy to throw in the towel and go curl up somewhere in a cave hoping to emerge when the storm is over.
But there’s work to be done, and a bad quarter should never put a pause or cause a setback to your business. This isn’t the time to let anxiety and worry consume you. See this as a chance for you and your team to revert to the drawing board, review your strategies, identify the areas that need improvement, and take a deep closer look at your business.
You will inevitably battle some challenges in your business, but you can make the terrible quarter count by taking lessons from it and preparing for future successes. Here are five actionable steps you can take to make a turn-around from a terrible quarter into a successful next one.
After a storm, you might find yourself running helter-skelter in search of solutions. This is a wrong move and it will lead to hasty decisions that might eventually ruin the business. Let the dust of the bad quarter settle first, and let the disappointment and sadness you felt wear out before you make a move. This might be you taking some time to go somewhere quiet and have some me-time to yourself. It is hard to make important decisions regarding your business when you are stressed. So ensure you get relaxed and clear your mind of distractions.
Access and review
With a relaxed and clear mind, critically access the last quarter. Were they direct, achievable, and clear to you and your team? Take a look at your set goals and objectives, how many did you achieve? How well did you do with your repeat customers? Were they satisfied? Did your company receive good reviews and positive feedback? Did you record new customers? Pay attention to the things that worked as well as the ones that didn’t. Identify the reason they didn’t work and why some did. Don’t do the assessment alone, gather your team members, and if possible get some external trusted advisors to help review the bad quarter.
Check your expenses
Most business owners pay more attention to sales and revenue than they do to their expenses. If you run a business, you will know that tracking where your expenses are coming from – where your money is going – is important to making financial decisions for the business. Your business should have a catalogue of spendings that outlines what’s necessary like what products/services aren’t profitable, what marketing channels aren’t efficient, etc. Reducing your expenses or cost of sales wherever possible will increase your profit.
Re-establish business goals
According to Randy Goruk of The Randall Wade Group, LLC when asked for advice on how to come back from a bad quarter, he said: “Evaluate and re-establish your business goals, then organize your energies around achieving them. Be certain your goals are realistic and, given reasonable effort, achievable. Ensure at least 80% of your time is allocated to achieving your goals. Anticipate the obstacles to achieving your goals, then take action to remove them by brainstorming ideas with your team. Celebrate success.”
Also, with the lessons you’ve learned and information gleaned from the bad quarter, set small weekly or daily SMART goals for your next quarters. Take smaller steps instead of larger ones.
Motivate your employees
Your business is at risk when your team members aren’t motivated. They wouldn’t perform maximally and that means, you won’t be able to reach your goals which might affect your business. So, why you’re about making sales, increasing revenue, attracting new customers while retaining repeat customers, ensure that your employees are happy and motivated. As a small business owner, your employees’ happiness and motivation are vital to the success of your business. Here are ways you can keep your employees motivated:
- Communicate that you care often
- Recognise them as individuals
- Make them feel valued
- Empower them
- Provide opportunities for them to grow
- Beef up benefits, eg, health insurance, flexible working hours, daycare, flexible working schedules or work from home options, etc.
You can’t undo a bad quarter, what you can do is prepare for the success of the next quarter.
Featured image: istockphoto