Keeping Your Business Alive During the Recession

The economy is in awful condition and there is no avoiding the dire forecasts and stagnant performance data issued by the news channels. Some of the biggest names in the global economy have come tumbling down from previously-untouchable thrones. Yet, this does not mean that small business owners need to take the fall along with the others. With some foresight and ingenuity, you can beat the recession…and even turn it to your favor!

Pay Attention to What Is and Isn’t Working

To remain afloat in these times of recession, and to be able to swim against the current-that is, grow at a time when others are shrinking-you can’t lose your cool. You need to take stock of exactly what is working and what is not working in your business, and react accordingly.

  • Don’t mimic what the major corporations are doing. It’s not only that they have exhibited wildly flawed practices; as a small business owner, you have much more wiggle room in the way you run your operation. Your contracts are probably not as inflexible, and your ability to pick and choose merchandise means that you can shorten your reaction time.

Know How and When to Streamline

Cut the extra weight that is holding you down now at the beginning of a recession, and don’t wait for it to corrode things more central, and therefore crucial, to your business plan.

  • Sadly, employees that under-perform or have excessively demanding pay pretensions need to be taken out of the picture-or, at least cut down a size.
  • If you’re a retailer, check your data: stop buying junk that’s not selling.
  • Put some effort into researching how to optimize your supply chain, and consider looking abroad for alternate sources if your local provider has dried up. Though it may seem a bit harsh, globalization is not going to be stopped, and you’d be wise to embrace this trend all the sooner.

Making Your Business Stand Out in the Crowd

These are no ordinary times, and your business model shouldn’t be the same old ordinary routine you ran all the way through the ’90s and early ’00s. Once all of the current turmoil blows over, the rewards will go to the businesses that figured out innovative ways to respond to the challenges that beset them.

  • Exploit the web, and discover what business alliances you can develop-either at a minimal cost or, yes, even for free-that will produce a symbiotic relationship in your favor. Community outreach programs can work like a charm in this regard: social solidarity tends to increase in times of recession, so using this venue to get your name out will be that much more effective.
  • Making the investment in sponsoring a community group during hard times will win you an enormous debt of gratitude from the community, and will be the equivalent of a giant seal of approval on your brand name.

Take the Blows That You Are Dealt

The sign of a genuine entrepreneur is being able to swallow hard, and convert short term losses into long term lessons. The key to small business survival is minimizing damages, and that means that you can’t let one bad investment or business move ruin your entire operation.

  • Don’t let a few setbacks spell doom for your small business.
  • Talk to other small business owners in your field, and consider setting up a cooperative to wade through the worst of the downturn.
  • If you are having cash flow problems, discuss with your providers ways to modify payment schedules-this is not a great time to commit yourself to 100% up front payments for all your purchases.

Gaze Upon the Horizon

Running a small business in a down economy will be a tall order, and though your creativity may mean you’ll achieve a greater degree of prosperity than your larger, aching competitors, you’ll undoubtedly take your fair share of hits. If you make the proper choices, however, and discover what direction your market is heading in, you’ll be that much more likely to come out of the recession at the top of your game.

  • A recession is a perfect time to do research on customer preferences, marketing strategies, cost-efficiency, and last-generation technologies that can help your business.
  • Invest in a Point of Sale system, launch an email marketing campaign, reassess your stock purchases, and don’t assume that just because something worked in the past that it’ll keep working in the future!

Real Estate Investing – How to Use Postcards and Letters to Raise Private Money

Let me guess, your real estate business is struggling? It’s no surprise…actually most industries in America are reporting significant losses for 2008 and worse is expected to come in 2009. The mortgage industry in particular is struggling because real estate is the last thing on many people’s minds right now. Potential homeowners are hesitating to buy a new house, just as lenders are hesitant to approve major loans.

Your goal should be to leave the traditional lenders to their paranoia and seek out new interests-from Private Lenders. Private lenders are the ones who have the money to lend and who are anxious to discover the next investment that will provide yields than CD’s or money markets.

But how does the average investor find private lenders. We market for them. One way is to use postcards and letters. Postcards and letters are not new but they work.

Both of these options can be used to solicit interest from high net worth individuals. Your first step is to purchase lists of high net worth people and then send a postcard or letter to invite them to get a free report or invite them to an informational seminar. The goal is to entice them to listen to you one-on-one, at an in-person meeting or a seminar. Then you can use the opportunity to talk about your real estate investing business and the option of private lending.

Be sure to send cards or letters to people within your state and do not cross outside your state. This will eliminate the need to register with the federal SEC.

What is the difference between letters and postcards when it comes to advertising? Aside from costs, postcards provide a very strong visual image with limited information. This is ideal advertising for someone in a hurry, or someone who has a visual mind and wants to “see” the results of your proposition. Postcards are also a good idea for someone who has already received a letter, or attended your seminar, and who just needs a kind reminder.

You might assume that since the Internet is what everyone uses, that it’s pointless to advertise through any other medium. Wrong! People still read newspapers and still receive mail. In fact, people are probably more likely to read a physical document addressed to them (one of 5 or 10) than they are to read over one of the thousands of virtual ads they see online everyday.

Penny Stocks and Las Vegas Showgirls – What Do They Have in Common?

Long before moving into the penny stock arena I lived in Las Vegas for a summer, trying my hand as a blackjack professional. That of course is the story itself and one I won’t go into here, the other thing I did regularly was to catch some of the outstanding entertainment they have in Las Vegas. Good fortune allowed me to meet more than one show girl, and before you let your imagination run, once the costumes were off and they’d changed into blue jeans and T-shirt, they were just like any other girl you’d meet, particularly one named Holly.

Holly lived in Las Vegas, attending UNLV, she was putting away money and had plans to start investing with the hopes of one day becoming financially independent. Of course my intentions were focused more on a relationship, yet I enjoyed listening to her discuss her future with a keen interest.

At the time she knew little about the stock market, and nothing about penny stocks but she had a keen sense for business, and a sensibility I felt would give her success in life, no matter what she chose.

Of course getting to know her allowed me to come backstage, meet some of the other girls, and more than once I watched the show from the wings, and on select nights from a table in the house. I noticed one thing in common with all the showgirls; they were filled with energy, wore those amazing costumes, but once the show was over, were some of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. Many were married, others had children, and several spoke of this being a stepping stone for the future.

The one that held my interest though was Holly, she was systematically putting money away every week and her mind was focused continually on her goal of financial success, possibly even financial independence. As I think back of that summer in Las Vegas, and wonder how I can illustrate what a show girl has in common with penny stocks is simply this when you invest, you must keep your eye on the goal and in almost every case with penny stocks, the goal should be your exit point.

Since stoploss orders are not allowed with penny stocks, it’s mandatory you have an exit point in mind before placing your buy order. By having this goal in the forefront of your mind, you can lower your risk, and potentially lock in profits.

What I want to do is be completely honest and let you know there is risk associated with penny stocks, but it is a calculated risk, assuming you have three things

  1. The right mentality to keep your eyes focused on the goal
  2. A sum of money allocated for investing, making certain your existing financial obligations are covered.
  3. The right information and market timing.

I’ve already discussed point one, so let’s move forward to point number two. In order to be a successful investor you must have a sum of money earmarked for investing. And while this money could be accumulated by mortgaging your house, borrowing on credit cards or other credit nightmare scenarios, the optimum way, and one that will allow you to sleep well at night, is to put a side a certain sum every week or two weeks from existing income. By doing this you are in effect adding your penny stock investments into your monthly budget, a very effective strategy to ensure adequate funds to invest.

Number three concerns having the right information and market timing, crucial to successful investing. There are multiple penny stock newsletters available, the difficulty is knowing which consistently offer good advice, and which ones to steer clear of. Our recommendation is to join several, track them over time, then determine which offers good picks. It’s not difficult, but can be very time consuming.

Sometimes as I’m scoring the net for financial data and penny stock alerts, I wonder if Holly succeeded in her financial goals. Holly if you’re reading this I wish you wealth, health and success.