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Copyright 2001 Lisa Lake
How To Prosper As Times Get Bad
By: Lisa Lake
The bad news just won't stop! Every day brings more gloom and doom
headlines about how our once stellar economy is sinking. Big companies
are laying off employees by the tens of thousands. Stores are cutting back
on inventory. Thousands of home-based businesses are getting scared
and giving up.
No question about it, our economy is going through a tough spell. But not
everyone is hurting. Many businesses make big gains during times
Just check the Fortune 500 for major companies that started in somebody's
garage during the Great Depression, or during the horrible recessions of
the 1970s, or during the downturn of the early 90s.
Good ideas and hard work flourish no matter what the economy looks like.
Here are three simple ways to help you succeed no matter what.
Finally, don't believe all the hype you hear. The media love to take
a bad story and make it sound worse. If they get some information
that business is struggling, they do what they can to make it sound like
an unmitigated disaster. Of course, we can't lay all the blame on
news organizations. These are the kinds of stories the public likes.
- Cut costs now! Look for little purchases you can do without. Try to cut down on
non-essential services that bill you each month. Cutting even a few
small items can quickly add up to big savings. You can count those
savings as increased profits or simply more cash flow to help you keep
the doors open when sales are slow.
By the same token, don't do without products and services that are essential
to your success. You don't want to throw the baby out with the bath
You can work an asset harder to make it produce a bigger profit. I often
think we could do without some of the web hosting services we buy.
But then it occurs to me how we can use all those nice web features to
better serve our customers and pull in more sales. Use use what you
have with more intensity and efficiency.
- Reduce employees and outsource. I don't mean that you should fire good people. But resist
the temptation to immediately hire someone new when one of your employees
quits. Slower sales demand less human power. Employees who
are motivated by leaner times may be able to take on more work than they
Look for ways you can send some of your work to freelancers. With many
companies laying off skilled people, there is no shortage of experts who
are willing to help you by the job or hour. Your small business can
indirectly benefit from the training larger companies spent billions on.
- Concentrate on your core and jettison the rest. Every business or professional has key products and services that
are their main moneymakers. Look for ways you can emphasize your
Get rid of tasks that don't make you money. If you can't see it turning
a profit in the near future, don't let the expense drag you down.
The reality of the situation is things are never as bad as they sound.
No matter how tough things get, there are always opportunities. You
can keep your dream alive if you continue to believe and persevere.
Did you hear the true story about the guy who made a fortune selling rugs
on the Afghan border? That is probably the most desolate and troubled
place in the world. If he can succeed there, I have no question you
and I can do well wherever we are.
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