Making the Best of It

The last year has been tough very, very tough on businesses large and small. While just surviving has often been Job #1, consider taking a candid look at what was working and what wasn’t regarding business operations and plans. When the business environment improves a business can hit the ground running or drag along issues that for whatever reason were not previously addressed. Ok, but where to start.

Broadly speaking the issues are sales, cash flow, labor/staffing, market/products, and fixed expenses. If a business does not know the specifics about these issues, getting a handle on them is the first step. Familiarity with these nuts and bolts issues position a business to take the next steps. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. More good news is that the resources are deep and free. The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBCD) in conjunction with and located at Clarion University provides a wide range of consulting services and business resources. Taking advantage of the services and resources will enable a business to put its best foot forward when business picks up. 

To be sure, running day-to-day business operations can eat up a lot of time. The fact is that owners/managers of a business may not be all that familiar with some of the issues mentioned above. When I was a consultant I sat across the table from a presidents or CEOs of a large corporations and in presenting my assessment issues, good and bad, were, more than once, unknown to them. In any case, what is the downside to becoming aware and informed about these business factors?

Having this information in hand is imperative when engaging a consulting or business development company to help devise a strategy for your business goals. The productivity and practicality of their recommendations require solid information on a company. Remember, there are fees for their services.

If your business plan, given the business environment, is to hold the line and survive or are looking down the road to new opportunities now is the time get the proverbial ducks in a row. Help is available but you need to take the first step.

Written by Blog Contributor: Brad Lena