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

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


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...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


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