In this economy, what is the best use of my funds? Marketing, expansion, keep under the mattress? What? It’s the question that small biz is wrestling with. Do I hide under the covers, or do I make a run at real growth? And how…
Submitted by Tony Katz, via Twitter
First, how sound is your business? If your business is in trouble today, your money is probably better off under the mattress, than poured into your business.
If your business is sound, what is its real potential? Can it grow? Does it have the potential to go big in this climate? I don’t think you can answer this question yourself. You need some outside perspective. No one can truly say they have experience with this economy, but someone out there has enough experience to offer you some of their best thinking. You might have to look well outside your industry to find the right person, but it’s worth the search right now.
Are you in a damaged or dying industry? Now is not a great time to be investing your money into a print newspaper. How is your local economy? If you’re local economy is in the tank, can you really buck that trend?
How’s your attitude? Are you positive enough to make it through the onslaught of bad news?
How do you deal with failure? Can you afford financially and emotionally to fail at this?
I believe it comes down to you. Are you good enough to go for it?
Consider this old insurance company award, from New York Life, from 1931. It was for their testimonial program. They were two years into the Great Depression, and at least nine years from the austere recovery that started in 1941 and far from the post-war boom. They didn’t sit it out. They were moving forward. New York Life survived, and Irvin Bendiner kept that award until the day he died.
So I offer you a litmus test:
When I tell you you can’t, when I say you aren’t good enough to make it work, how do you react? If you are afraid I’m right, then take a cautious tack in your business. If you get angry, worked up, and feel challenged, you may just be the one who should go for it.
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J Schmitt says
Becky – a great litmus test and a good question for any current or would-be entrepreneur. Being a business owner requires and understanding, expectation and determination to weather the natural cycles of business. Thanks for asking some of the mainstay questions that every business, no matter their locale or their size, should be answering.
Becky McCray says
Thanks, J, I hope it helps folks clarify their thinking.
Becky, very good point. What is funny is I think that is always the case not just in “this” economy. Many very successful businesses started in a recession. Many businesses went out of business during boom times. Starting/growing a business isn’t easy and will test you. Are you ready? If you say ‘I don’t know’… don’t. If you say ‘Absolutely’… go for it!
Becky McCray says
Now you’ve got me thinking, Jeremy. Is any of this specific to a tough economy? Hmmmm
John Krech says
One of the best ways to determine how sound your business is and what is the best use of funds is to use economic profit to optimize inventory. To learn more about how small business can create it’s own stimulus – see Kathy Yakals coverage in PCMAG at http://blogs.pcmag.com/atwork/2009/02/phitch_oc_90_optimizes_invento_1.php