Monday, April 6, 2015

Riding the waves

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     to help you better manage your small business.

     In business, it's you. You roll with the punch. You ride out the storms.

     Economic downturns, endless regulations, employees who do you a favor by just showing up, cash flow problems--it's enough to get you depressed. But depression is not an option. You keep going.

     Example: Ella runs a yoga studio. She holds classes and offers private sessions. When her lease was almost up, the landlord notified Ella that the rent would be doubling. She had sixty days to solve the problem. Her alternatives were slim--pay the new rent amount, find another space, or find a compatible business partner. Ella proposed sharing her space with a massage therapist who worked from home and was building a client base. Together, they found a new space, large enough to accommodate both. By splitting the space and the rent, Ella's half was less than she had been paying before the move. 

     Non-competing small businesses can hold down expenses by sharing space. Artists and artisans, holistic practitioners, chiropractors, medical specialists and others frequently make use of this. Sometimes it is a formal partnership. At other times it is just an informal arrangement. 

     Example: Ed began his small baking operation by renting a local restaurant's licensed kitchen on days when the restaurant was closed. Here, he baked brownies, cookies and other goodies. Over time Ed built up his business by selling his bakery goods to local corporations, organizations, and other businesses. Suddenly, the restaurant owner announced that he was planning to retire and move away. Ed had six months to make other arrangements. He scrambled to find a suitable place, negotiate a lease, locate and buy used baking equipment, get it installed and inspected, and transition to the new place. Today, Ed's bakery offers a wide variety of bakery items to local restaurants, caterers and others. He built his customer base first, only then worrying about establishing a place of his own. 

     Finding ways to grow and expand takes creative planning. And time. When the road ahead goes dark, get busy. When storms roll across the ocean you're sailing, ride it out. Never give up. There is always another way.

     Unexpected disasters and economic downturns test the metal you're made of. Sudden loss of a major client or a valuable employee means getting busy, not giving up. Plan ahead and roll with the punch.