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Are you sweating over cash flow? Are you losing sleep over the prospect of missing your annual goals?

Well, if so, certainly you’re not alone. Many business owners and executives have suffered from the same anxiety.

But fear can be a great motivator for success.

The first four things to do:

1. Even though you’re facing the big problem now, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

A characteristic of successful businesspeople – they don’t panic in the face of adversity. They see problems as opportunities for growth.

Take some deep breaths and repeat these truths: – “No matter what, there are no big deals – no matter what.” – “This, too, shall pass.”

Next, here’s an important point: To improve your profits, don’t impulsively take short-term actions that will destroy your foundation for the long term.

Many businesspeople make critical mistakes when they suddenly slash marketing budgets, lay off talented workers or cut research and development.

These expenses might appear to be expendable, but don’t do it in a rash manner. They are all intangible assets. Slashing them will diminish your long-term prospects. Learn how to work smarter, not harder.

2. Focus on short-term profit initiatives. Consider that for every problem, there are 10 possible solutions. To use a sports metaphor, defend your business with a strong offense.

Query your customers and their customers to search for sales opportunities. Launch an all-out marketing offensive in public relations and social media. (If you can, a secret to success in a weak economy is to expand marketing.)

Hoard your cash. Cut all fat (not the muscle of marketing, human resources and R&D). Implement shorter work weeks and cut all temp assignments.

Do these things and you’ll get into a positive mental zone, and you’ll suddenly find that you’re developing additional solutions.

A characteristic of successful businesspeople – they don’t panic in the face of adversity. They see problems as opportunities for growth.

3. Continue to analyze and strategize – prevent mistakes. Many companies don’t have a clear picture of their situations. They complacently assume that they do, but most don’t.

Consequently, nine out of 10 fail because they self destruct – not because they’re defeated by competitors. This is true in any sector.

Early-stage companies fail because they try to grow at a pace inconsistent with their capabilities. The term for it is “premature scaling.” Don’t accelerate unproven ideas unless you’ve done enough homework.

Otherwise, you’ll inadvertently make matters worse. For more explanation on premature scaling, see the reasons why startup companies fail and how to win.

4. Figure out how you can operate leaner by engaging your employees. On a daily basis, your employees are where the tire meets the road. For profit drivers, partner with your employees

Use the proven strategies when sales drop and costs cut into your profits. Use free tools to operate and market your business.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

Step-by-Step Solutions for a Company Turnaround — Difficult economic conditions have exacerbated the woes facing many businesses. But business success is possible for companies suffering through red ink. Here are financial solutions that will help facilitate a company turnaround.

Why Kaizen Philosophy Works in Lean Principles for Business and Public Sector— Lean thinking has become imperative for business and government. Budgets are strained, but pressure continues to mount for better customer service. The bottom-line: Both the private and public sectors need to save time and money while providing exemplary service – with existing resources.

When Should You Develop an Exit Strategy? Now…Here’s How — You should always have an exit strategy in place – no matter what. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran business owner, you should always have an exit strategy.

Need PR, But No Budget? Here’s How to Leverage News Media — Social media is OK for promotion. But if you need blockbuster publicity, use best practices in marketing. Play a trump card — leverage the news media for public relations.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling — For most businesspeople in a lackluster economy, it’s important to create new opportunities with successful cold calling. Yes, it’s necessary to concentrate more efforts to create new sales. Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

“Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.”

Groucho Marx


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.