Home Back Issues April 2008 Five tips for tough times

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

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


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...

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits announced

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

100NP14logo4WebOregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.


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...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


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