Ways to Survive Rising Inflation

Transcript from my newsletter of 6th June.

If you prefer to listen:

Inflation in the US, the EU and the UK is higher now than it has been for decades and, in the UK, the cost-of-living crisis is front and centre of the daily news and politics.

As small- or home-businesses, we are going to be hit from two sides:

  1. Reduced spending from customers and potential customers
  2. increased cost of raw materials and supplies

The problem with price increases that come with inflation is that they don’t drop again.

Even when the inflation rate returns to the 2% – 3% range, the prices that went up during the high inflation period remain.

We are facing a short-term squeeze on margins and a long-term higher-cost environment.

Time for a plan

I didn’t make a plan when things started to go wrong here in Hong Kong back in 2019, and I got away with it, more by luck than judgement.

I was able to survive the last three years, mostly through diversifying my income streams.

Once again, though, things are not looking so good. Growing inflation is pushing up prices, restricting spending, and the exodus of people from Hong Kong is, if anything, increasing.

This time I am taking action.

I went into cost cutting mode this week, and I focused on membership and forum subscriptions.

Over the years, I’ve signed up to all sorts of membership sites. They were all training or forum sites that specialised in different disciplines and, individually, were good value.

It’s easy, when you’re impressed by something, to think ‘Oh it’s only $20 a month, no problem’.

The problem is that multiples of $20 add up to a lot, and that hits your expense line every month.

So I went through my membership and forum subscriptions, and cut those that were not important to my business – and in doing so reduced my monthly expenses by just under 25%.

The other side of the equation is income – and how to protect it.

Diversifying my income streams provided resilience to my business, and that saved me over the past three years.

I’ve always recommended building resilience through diversification, but you need to approach it with care, and stay away from ‘Shiny Objects’ (things that look new and exciting).

I’ve been careful in the past, and it has served me well.

But I failed to take my own advice recently, and it could have been disastrous.

Here’s what happened: I got involved in creator coins. I even wrote about it back here.

For a while, it looked as though the modest investment I made (US$120) was a great move, as the value of my investment climbed above US$1,000.

Today it’s worth US$63.

Luckily, I had learned something from past experiences, and I kept my initial investment low. As a result, I can look on it as a loss of US$57, which is not as disastrous as it could have been!

But the lesson is the same: don’t look for new revenue streams in the latest fad.

Exercise care, choose something that you know about, that complements your existing business, and that’s established.

Given the growth of inflation, the short-term pressure on profit margins, and the longer-term higher-cost base, I do recommend you take steps now to build resilience into your business.

It’s usually better to be ahead of the game!

This week’s links

The first article I’ve linked to this week continues the ‘inflation’ theme and offers 5 tips for surviving it.

I’ve also covered ethics in your content, the future of content marketing, and protecting yourself against ransomware.

5 tips to survive rising inflation

Jamie Trull sets out 5 tips to help your business survive rising inflation:

5 tips for surviving rising inflation

What’s ethics got to do with it?

Last week I talked about earning and keeping trust.

Sarah Sain takes the subject of trust further in this article, where she asks questions about the content you are creating or curating, and how to ensure you’re not abusing the power that publishing content gives you:

What’s ethics got to do with it?

The future of content marketing

There’s more content online now than anyone could possibly consume in a lifetime.

For this reason, I have often talked about the need to stop creating content and focus on distributing, or curating it.

In this article, Mark Schaefer shares his thoughts on the future of content marketing and where to focus your efforts to make your content strategy more effective:

The future of content marketing

A dangerous ransomware gang

Cyber-crime, and ransomware attacks in particular, is one of the fastest growing industries world-wide.

Being the victim of a cyber-attack not only causes catastrophic damage to your business, it hits you hard emotionally too.

This article on the ExpressVPN website, discusses how a major ransomware gang operates and, at the end, lists 5 ways you can protect yourself from a cyber-attack, not just ransomware:

A dangerous ransomware gang

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Just so you know: this email may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission as a ‘thank you’ from the product or service provider. I only link to products or services that I use, or have used, and am proud to be associated with. There is no additional cost to you.

Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow

Smart, current and insightful tips from:

Nick Loggie

Affiliate Marketing Leaders

Useful resources

Increase your exposure on Google for free

A WordPress troubleshooting guide for non-technical people. (This is a PDF download from my server).

Fun flashback

George Harrison was not as prolific a song-writer as Lennon or McCartney, but he came out with some wonderful songs, both with the Beatles and after.

Here he is performing ‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)’ live:

Struggling to grow your business?

Then this is for you:

Every week, I do deep-dive research into the mass of information on how to grow a successful small- or one-person business.

And I pick out detailed, current tips from experts in their fields. Not the same old stuff that’s been re-hashed countless times.

Join us, and you will be the first to receive the best business growth tips I find each week – in your inbox, every Monday:

Fire up your business growth:

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Cheers,

Martin Malden

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