I completely understand that some people are either not in a position to save their business or perhaps are doing so well that it’s not worth their time to rescue a business hurt by the economy. However, I have put so much of my time and money into my projects that I decided I must find a way to “succeed.”
If my “success” is extremely tiny compared to my projections when the economy was strong, so be it. But surviving through the hardest of times would be a huge personal success for me. I also feel like strategies I learn during these trials may serve me very well in the long run.
“Be Greedy When Everyone Else is Scared”
I am taking advantage of a strategy that stems from this famous quote by Warren Buffet. While he manages a multibillion dollar investment company, and I am practically invisible on the financial scale, the strategy still makes sense to me. I will make any investments I can conceivably afford to make, provided I am getting a great deal because of the economic downturn. For example, I was able to purchase new hardware that would otherwise have been out of my price range thanks to aggressive pricing across the board.
Another company was going out of business locally, and I was able to purchase yet more goods at a discount from them. As long as I keep my eyes peeled for bargains such as these, the net cost of doing business for me in the long run continues to decrease.
I continue to look to our new government for signs of where large federal investments may be headed, so that I can focus my business diversification into areas most likely to have fresh cash injections in the new year. However, that doesn’t mean I’m looking for a handout. I just want to position myself in line when new contracts are up for bids.
If I didn’t do these things, I would definitely be going out of business. Rather than simply give up with the shortage of existing customers, though, I continue to test the waters in different markets to make sure that I can capture whatever business remains. I was recently able to setup a big showcase that required a long commute, but it was a showcase nonetheless. While I would prefer to have a showcase here locally, the fact that I was able to hustle and get one at all shows that opportunities are still available to the determined small business owner.
New Loan Options and Business Partners
I am intrigued by the idea that there may be new loan options on the horizon for small business owners as a result of a new bailout plan, but I am not counting on them.
Instead, I am working to create business plans so that I am prepared should these loans be made available. If it turns out that they are not available to me for any reason, I may be able to partner with someone who can get the loan and make things happen anyhow. Thus, my personal network of business relationships has never been as important as it is today.
If I can drive home only one point, that point would be to reduce overhead however possible. Businesses that can keep costs to an absolute minimum should be able to survive on a very small income stream. For businesses that have to have a large inventory, I would recommend liquidating that inventory in phases online so that the bottom line looks better, and so that additional months of that higher overhead are curtailed.