Canadian Pizza Magazine

Tips for business survival

By Jacob Thompson   

Features Business and Operations Finance

January 26, 2012 – There are things you can do to help your pizzeria make
it through tough times, whether it’s the economy in a tailspin or a slick new
competitor that’s opened down the street.

The following ideas are steps you can take to keep your
business afloat.  

Analyze your cash flow


Sit down and use either a computer software program or do it on your own and
figure out where your cash flow is going. You may realize you are spending more
than you thought on marketing, but are running low on product. You can redirect
the money to building up on your inventory, while taking advantage of free
social media sites to still advertise your goods or services.

Consider consolidating

Debt consolidation can be used for personal business loans, although debt
consolidation is not a be all and end all solution, it can clear up some old
debts with very high interest rates in exchange for one manageable monthly
payment with a weighted average interest rate. You can also negotiate with the
debt consolidate lender for a longer repayment period to bring your monthly
payment down even more. This will also look good on your business credit as old
debt are paid from the consolidation loan.

Cost cutting

Cutting costs may seem like common sense, but look for ways to save money in
unconventional ways. For a restaurant, looking at potential changing suppliers
is always an option. If you examine the costs of other suppliers and find one
that is lower, you may be able to renegotiate the costs of the inventory you're

Signing up for a mobile merchant account is another
potential way to cut costs. A store or even restaurant can accept card payments
through a mobile device and can give the customer a receipt right on their
phone. This cuts down on the cost of printing receipts and also on the cost of
renting an expensive terminal machine.


Many times outsourcing jobs such as bookkeeping, marketing or accounting can be
more cost-effective to outsource to a freelancer than paying a regularly
staffed employee. You may have to consider taking a full-time employee down to
part-time until you get into a better financial decision. Reassure employees
they can still apply for underemployment wages and it is better to have them at
part-time than to lose your business entirely.

Customer outreach

Contact any former customer you have information on, offer special deals just
for returning customers. Do not always assume they will never visit your place
of business again just because you have not heard from them in awhile. This is
where having a social media site for your business is crucial, particularly for
a restaurant. Sending a social media message about an upcoming sale or special
at your restaurant reminds customers that you are still there.
  Focus on excellent customer service; follow
through with returning customers and concentrating on filling the need of your
niche market.

There are many businesses that are suffering from this economy, but it is the
businesses that will take the initiative to step back and look at their
business in every perspective way possible. You have to be willing and able to
adapt to the economy in order to survive and thrive in a down economy.

Jacob Thompson is a writer for Merchant Seek, a Savannah,
Ga.-based company that provides advice and merchant account reviews to businesses.
His articles have appeared on several small business Web sites. 


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