CHICAGO, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a jungle out there. In the midst of a lingering recession, many small business owners are engaged in the fight of their lives. Sure, we've all heard the cliched advice: "tighten your belt"..."do more with less"..."think creatively." But how do you translate that into specific actions? And what do you do if you're already in trouble?
These are the questions small business expert Ray Silverstein—author of The Best Secrets of Great Small Businesses and a columnist for Entrepreneur.com—addresses in his new book, The Small Business Survival Guide: How to Survive (and Thrive) During Tough Times.
Silverstein's solutions don't come from textbooks and talking heads, but from the real-life experiences of small business survivors. The founder of PRO: President's Resource Organization, a network of peer advisory boards for entrepreneurs. In these sessions, members share problems, brainstorm solutions, and mine their collective wisdom—many which Silverstein has captured in his book.
Thus, the Survival Guide is a nitty-gritty handbook of tried and true survival maneuvers. Among other subjects, topics include:
- Think your business is sound because your Profit & Loss statement looks good? During a recession, a P&L can mislead you. Learn a more accurate way to assess your firm's financial health by projecting its cash flow needs.
- You can't reduce expenses wisely until you break them down. Learn where and when it makes sense to cutback and how to do so as painlessly as possible—whether initiating layoffs, enacting furloughs, renegotiating your rent, or restructuring vendor agreements.
- With more customers having problems paying their bills, how do you jump to the front of the receivables line? Try some creative collection strategies—such as writing your delinquent accounts a surprisingly successful little love poem.
Finally, it urges small business owners to be on the lookout for fleeting opportunities. For example, with unemployment so high, there will never be a better time to upgrade personnel. Or, when a competitor is weakened, take advantage of the moment by acquiring its customers, equipment, or even the entire business.
And if the economy were to turn around tomorrow, the Survival Guide still offers timeless instruction for small businesses during tough times, whether a global recession, an industry downturn, or a company in trouble.
SOURCE PRO: President's Resource Organization