Over 'til it's Over
Ray's Small BizBuzz
As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s
over.” He was talking about baseball, but he
might as well have been referring to the
recession. But, we aren’t out of the woods
For most small business owners, outwitting
the recession has become an obsession, and
in many cases a necessity. It’s certainly a
subject we discuss often in our PRO peer
advisory boards. Even after more than a
year, I’m still learning new survival
strategies, while finding value in
revisiting the tried-and-true. You never
know where or how the next good idea will
surface. And when things are this dire, you
can’t afford to leave any stones unturned.
Have you done everything possible to
transform your company into a lean, mean
fighting machine? One that can withstand the
worse economic conditions since the Great
Depression? Are you still searching for
solutions? Do you need help taking action?
With this in mind, let’s consider some
Know Your Cash Flow
– Right now, every small business owner
should be projecting monthly cash flow
(i.e., incoming vs. outgoing funds).
Managing via your Profit & Loss statement is
fine under normal economic conditions, but
right now, P&Ls can lull you into a false
sense of security. Do you know what’s coming
in, versus what’s going out? If not, it’s
time to learn.
Really, REALLY Reduce Expenses
– Have you slashed your expenses as much as
possible, in every conceivable area? I
recently broke down typical small business
expenses into 35 categories, some obvious,
some easily overlooked. Do you still have
cuts to make, but can’t seem to take action?
What are you waiting for? What will it take
to make you act?
– If you’re having trouble collecting
outstanding receivables, you’re not alone.
But your old methods may no longer be
sufficient. Consider new approaches, from
getting personal (how about sending your
accounts a “roses are red” delinquency love
poem?) to getting tough (as in, yes,
refusing to deliver more product until the
account catches up).
Conduct SWOT Analysis
– When was the last time you took complete,
objective stock of your business? After all,
you can’t make improvements until you know
what you’re dealing with. Now’s the time to
buckle down and analyze Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Set SMART Goals
– The Boy Scouts were right: if you fail to
plan, you plan to fail. The key to achieving
goals is to make sure they’re SMART:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic,
and Timely. Write them down, break them down
into steps…and yes, get them done.
I recently achieved one of my own key
business goals. I finished writing my new
ebook. “The Small Business Survival Guide:
How to Survive (and Thrive) During Tough
Times.” It’s filled with all the strategies
I’ve learned over the years and especially
this last one.
You can buy it now at
For a special introductory price of $11.95
(the regular price is $19.95), you’ll get
the collective wisdom of the best business
minds I know. Buy it…I guarantee you’ll
learn something you can apply to your