Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some New Year Tips For The Small Business

From Small Business Weekly:

Investigate your lender. Few banks are increasing lines of credit, but if your financial institution itself is in bad shape, "open up discussions immediately," says Allan Tepper, a CPA and finance consultant to small companies. "If they're not there for you, consider alternative lenders." You might also approach a credit union: Their lending is up 36% over last year.

Tighten your belt, but make sure the cost-cutting measures don't show. Make Internet calls instead of using traditional phone carriers, and e-mail documents (in a secure file format) instead of printing and mailing them. Save energy by turning off computers and printers. In northern climes, program the thermostat to fire up the heat just before the workday begins and shut it off an hour before it ends, suggests Jennifer Kluge, president of the National Association for Business Resources, a membership association in chilly Warren, Mich.

Barter. Elizabeth Donley, CEO of Stemina Biomarker Discovery in Madison, Wis., barters with her software consultant: He does statistical and Web site work for her company, and in exchange, she lets him run his business out of her excess office space. That's netting her company $50,000 in savings over the length of the 15-month contract. If you can't work it out on your own, examine organized barter exchanges and networks (there are hundreds). Just be sure to put all agreements in writing and record them for tax purposes.

Liquidate inventory. "Call it a 'The Economy Stinks Sale,' " says Lenzer Kirk. Most business owners know what it would take to make an offer "that customers would find impossible to refuse," Rice says. If doing so can garner enough of a reaction, it just might hold you over for the short term.

Let customers know this isn't a normal business practice, which will make it easier for you to raise prices later. But bear in mind that, in commodity businesses, some customers will disappear when prices go back up.

Read the full article and all of the great tips here.

1 comment:

Small Business Software said...

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