Tag Archive for 'survival'

Small business survival through humility and discipline

Surveying the economic landscape in front of us and trying to imagine what the near-term future will hold, I recognize that, while hard work and stick-to-it-iveness will be critical to small business success this year, we should also assume an attitude that we can default to, especially in the most difficult hours. I use the unit of hours because, while the leaders of larger organizations may wonder if they will survive the year, sometimes small business owners wonder if they will survive to the next hour.

As I worked on a useful attitude, I allowed that for any idea to establish itself it must be presented in a way that helps the memory, so it should be short and sticky. That’s when I came up with the Small Business Attitude for 2009, which is:

“In 2009, I’m going to win by surviving.”

You may have heard me say this before on my small business radio program or when I’ve published the “Attitude” in previous blog posts. The reason I’m revisiting it here is because of a conversation I had with Cliff Ennico, Brain Trust member and author of “The ebay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book.”

Recently, Cliff joined me on The Small Business Advocate Show to talk about the state of mind of small business owners in 2009. One of the things I like about Cliff is that he’s a cut-to-the-chase kind of guy, and during our interview he did just that by offering a very short and sticky thought. He said that small business owners should post two words on their computer monitor: discipline and humility. What an important insight for these times!

Discipline will help you make the tough decisions you must make this year. And humility will help you make those decisions with the appropriate speed - because you’ve told your ego to take a seat - and with the appropriate humanity - as your decisions impact others, like employees.

So, here’s your new assignment: Tape my 2009 Small Business Attitude, “I’m going to win by surviving” to your morning mirror; and tape Cliff Enico’s 2009 words of wisdom, “humility” and “discipline” on your computer monitor.

But first, take a few minutes to listen to my interview with Cliff Enico. I think you’ll find it time well-spent. And, of course, don’t forget to leave a comment.

Small business preparation for economic challenges

What steps do you have to take to prepare your small business for the challenges of an economic downturn? Everything has to be scrutinized, from expenses, especially payroll, to inventory, to capital expenditures, to customer relationships, the list is long.

Of course, all managers want to make these preparations. And even if you have the foresight to see what must be done, having the discipline to take those actions is another matter, isn’t it?

This week I talked with Brain Trust member Stephen Baum, author of “What Made Jack Welch, Jack Welch,” on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, about the survival practices of the managers he works as a Vistage leader and CEO coach, and we talked about these practices. He said that some of the managers in his group began taking survival steps several months ago.

Click on the “Listen” link to learn more about what Stephen had to say, and comment on what you’re doing in your business.

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