Sponsored by Energy Trust

Five tips for tough times

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

 

money.jpg

Even though the economy is sputtering, the last thing small-business owners should do is panic. “You can actually take the opportunity of a downturn, when you’re not as busy, and re-strategize your business looking for new opportunities.” says Harry DeWolf, Portland district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Here are his top five tips small businesses should follow when economic times get tough.

1. Don’t lose track of cash flow. Cash is king — especially in a down economy. Income statements and balance sheets are fine, but they are telling you what happened in the past, not the future. Use a cash-flow report to project your cash flows at least three months in advance.

2. Eliminate nonessential expenses as much as possible. Ask yourself: Is that activity necessary? Will this activity create profit? If not, don’t do it. Also consider cutting personal spending. Simple reductions can make a difference.

3. Don’t build up inventory. Don’t get bogged down with excess merchandise and inventories tying up your cash. Convert your overstocked inventory into cash by using sales and promotions and consider selling items through other channels, such as the Internet.

4. Don’t take on new debt. Think long and hard about taking on more debt, and don’t be in a big hurry to pay off debt early. Instead, focus on building cash reserves.

5. Don’t let accounts receivable get too big or too old. Get aggressive with collections. When business is good, companies tend to become lazy about collecting on receivables. Being tough with customers may be unpleasant, but it’s an important safeguard against the effects of a prolonged economic slowdown.                       

EVAN CAEL


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


Read more...

The short list: Holiday habits of six Oregon CEOs

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121214-xmaslist1BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Justice for All

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Lawger upends the typical hourly based fee model by letting clients determine the cost.


Read more...

Kill the Meeting

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Meetings get a bad rap. A few local companies make them count.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS