One month ago, many modular home builders had to face the fact that IBS, parent of the biggest network of modular home factories in the East, filed bankruptcy. Everyone had hoped for a different outcome and some builders are still thinking that a solution may come in the form a white knight but as each day passes into history, that is looking bleaker.
Many IBS builders are still trying to put things together to save both their own businesses and their customers, many of whom put down large deposits.
So what are the critical things that every builder who is standing on the brink of financial and business collapse need to do in order to hopefully, come back from the Walking Dead and begin showing real signs of progress?
Here are 5 steps you need to take:
1. Cut unnecessary spending
This is the first thing any small business owner needs to do. Look at ways to eliminate leases on things you may be able to live without. Cancel contracts with consultants that you had in the days before you stood on the brink. Make do with things that might not be the newest but are still functioning well.
2. Know your financials
You need to know where every dollar goes, right down to the last decimal point. This is where a lot of business owners begin rationalizing why they are spending money here and there with no apparent return.
3. Continue to innovate
Look for ways to expand on what you can offer clients without decreasing the value of your product. Now is the time to look at starting a Facebook page, writing a blog, inviting the media to a house set or anything else that won’t cost you a penny but keeps you business in front of your current customers, your past customers and most importantly, your future customers. Make yourself look super prosperous.
4. Don’t underestimate your resilience
Remember what you had to do initially get your business started way back when? It’s time to put on your risk-taker pants and do it again. You are still the same person you were back then except you know what mistakes not to make again. And it will be fun.
5. Talk to your customers
Your customers that gave you deposits should be your first priority. Talk to them, show them empathy, fight for them but mostly, simply talk to them. Email is fine but a customer that has given you a huge deposit needs to hear from you, either on the phone or in person, about what is happening. To you it’s a deposit. To them, it is not only a lot of money, it is the trust they put in you. Don’t let them down.