Mar 04 2010


Hold your nose


and dunk under


 the wave . . . or 


 ride it to shore!


     Surfers (not the TV channel kind!) are actually smarter than they look. They know enough to take a deep breath and either dunk under a wave to get out of the way, or stand up and ride it onto the beach. When your business cash flow is outbound, it’s time to make that same decision.

     If you choose to dunk under — like leave town, change your name, and disappear into some cave or head for the islands (until your butt’s hauled back to jail) — go for it! But prepare (at least) for a stiff neck from looking back over your shoulder 16 hours a day … maybe work for a chiropractor?

     My guess is that when payables tip the receivables scale into the stratosphere, most of us will opt for survival instead of surrender. Certa Bonum Certamen say the Latins (“Fight The Good Fight”) and giving our businesses CPR is certainly preferable to filing Chapter 11. Rule of thumb: One first aider beats a full house of lawyers.

     Okay, so where to start? Make the unpleasant calls to creditors; beg for mercy; give them (and stick to) payback plans. Stay in communication with them no matter how awkward, uncomfortable or embarrassing it feels. DO NOT borrow money to pay back loans; it will catch up with you.

     Consider reputable debt consolidation services. Fill in staff-cutback areas with interns. It’s true a recent President kind of ruined that idea, but truth is that if you’re willing to provide the proper guidance and leadership, you can literally build an empire on the enthusiasm and energy of young interns.

     The best source of interns (and usually a structured program that keeps students focused and offers employers recourse) will come from your nearest community college, though some major universities have established highly successful internship (often called “cooperative education”) programs.

     Interns will occasionally work for free, sometimes for commission or bonus arrangements, and often for minimum wage or less. They require ongoing supervision. You may have to fill out evaluation forms and meet with a faculty or administrative advisor once a semester. That’s it. If this is something you want to make work, make it work.

     If you’re a one-man-band, ask family members for hours in exchange for breakfasts or dinners out, or periodic sports or concert tickets … i-tune cards? Be creative.

     One boss I know who’s struggling to get his business back on its feet reports getting productive work hours from his cousin’s teenage son in exchange for covering periodontal work (teeth braces) not covered by insurance. He gets six months of work from another relative in exchange for new tires on two family cars.

     Be creative. Make it work. Ride it to shore!

Comment below or direct to Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT DayGet blog emails FREE via RSS feed OR $1 mo Amazon Kindle. Gr8 Gift 4 GRANDPARENTS:

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May 02 2009


“It Don’t Matter To Me!”


     That song title should be your answer (aside from the ungrammatical “don’t”) to any question about who’s to blame for this economy. All that matters in the end is what you are doing about it for your own business or professional practice.

     Whether you’re a doctor, a retailer, a small-size manufacturer, a distributor, agent, or service provider, it’s time to take a hard look at how you are dealing with your current spending plans. This, for example, is NOT the time to fold up the sales and customer service training rug and store it in the basement. Besides the fact that basement-stored rugs attract mold and mildew, there are better solutions.

     Check in with your local community college or adult education program for an inexpensive training option. Or, do it yourself! Or round-up a team of masters or doctoral students from a nearby university to put a program together for you.

     Many internship programs across the country award academic credits for firsthand real-life experiences. A combination of business and education or psychology majors should be able to package a good motivational training program for your business. Some training is better than no training!

     Just be sure you present such a program in the right light and discourage over-the-top expectations. Help your people to see such an occasion as an opportunity to foster idea exchanges and teamwork, instead of setting up training quality judgements. Point out that what they will get from any program is what they end up putting into it.

     Speaking of motivation, remember that small frequent rewards (like family entertainment arrangements and lunch invitations) are more meaningful in the overall scheme of things than high-priced permanent rewards (like salary/benefit increases).

     Look at ways to promote your business without having to bite the media advertising bullet that will undoubtedly break a tooth if not your wallet. is a terrific free site to register with and post free news releases and newsy photos — every day if you like!

     People are selling everything under the sun on Twitter these days. Also for free. You need tenacious endurance to make Twitter work for you, but it will if you will. Didn’t tenacious endurance get you to where you are anyway? 

     Are you asking people in your family to help you with certain tasks that will help free up your time so you can be more focused on sales, for example? Maybe retired Uncle Harvey wouldn’t mind at all coming in a few times a week to do some light cleaning (in exchange for some sports tickets or a couple of dinners out) to help offset custodial service fees?

     Cover the tax-deductible cost of some business books for your college student son, daughter, neice, nephew, or cousin in exchange for some office, fieldwork or factory floor interns? Combine expenses with neighboring businesses? Shared transportation and shipping costs, even direct mail postage, advertising, clerical and website maintenance sharing are possible.

     Think it out. Tough it out. But stay focused in the process, and stimulate your OWN budget!    

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      . . . I’m open to your input anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thank you for visiting. Good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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