Business Owners Toolbox Blog Discussions and articles to help the small business owner solve the challenges they face as they grow their business.

April 3, 2012

How to Thrive in Tough Times

14 quick lessons, based on the actions of successful small business owners I work with:


Banish doom and gloom

Keep your customers

Ask “Who’s buying?”

Go for cash flow

Don’t take unprofitable work

Watch your money like a hawk.

Collect money faster

Don’t keep unnecessary labor, but sustain your team


Take care of yourself

Don’t stop paying yourself

Focus on running your business

Envision your recovery

Seek new opportunities

Ready your recovery fund

Inspire your team

Snap up resources


Details on these in my new ebook “How to Thrive in Tough Times—Lessons from Successful Business Owners.”

April 2, 2012

Small Businesses Are Growing Again!

I’m hearing good news from the owners I work with–from all kinds and sizes of businesses. Here are a few things from our plan workshop participants:

  • “I have my business back! New clients are coming in. We’re getting referrals. Our energy is back up. Customers are calling and asking for more services. It’s back to the way it was before the downturn.
  • “It’s looking like a big year. Big projects of various types. We’re again looking for a second location to expand into.
  • “I’ve always self-financed. But this growth spurt will take some outside financing. Three of my customers have offered to put money in.”

I’m sharing these because too many of you are still playing the doom and gloom song. It’s time to snap out of it and start looking at how you can prepare to take advantage of the upswing. Here are a few more:

  • “This time last year I was nose down in production. Now I’ve got two good production managers—one for each shift—and I’m focusing on getting our new retail location ready for the April launch date.
  • “My client list is full. The danger is, I’ll get complacent and stop marketing.
  • “I took my nine managers offsite last Monday to brainstorm the details of opening our new place this spring. What I see is that the only way I can be a real CEO of my company is to work with them in this way and stay out of day-to-day management.
  • “They asked if I could give them a lower rate, since times are tough. I responded, ‘Sorry I just can’t do that.’ They talked for a minute, then responded, ‘Okay.’ Since then they’ve started giving me even more work—at my regular price!”

Want to see some more of this? How to Thrive in Tough Times—Lessons From Small Business Owners is my newest ebook, just posted on Amazon for Kindle, iPad, etc. for $2.99. Worth every cent!

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