Years ago, when I was still working
in my family business, we would hit a rough patch periodically. Sometimes it
was just a tough season due to weather and sometimes it was a rough economy
just like now. Whenever I was tempted to cut expenses too vigorously, my dad
would remind me that, “Your trucks don’t care what type of season you had. They
only know they need replacing.” The lesson continued with, “Act like you’re
going to be in business for awhile. The decisions get easier when you do.”
To my dad’s credit, he had been through many tough
times as any business owner who has started out with nothing and built a
business will attest to. He always tried to run a lean company and avoid the
trap of spending too much during the good times because he knew the bad times
could be right around the corner.
He also did a good job of avoiding the pitfalls of
cutting too severely in these times. Actually, he would get aggressive and use
what he had saved up by not overspending in the good times to pick up strategic
acquisitions he knew would make him money when things turned around. He’d also buy
new technology on the cheap. I believe he was able to act this way because he
wasn’t a short-term thinker. Plus he had faith in his ability to invest in
himself and his company for the long-term and make it work out the way he
Frankly, it’s all to easy to think and do as other
business owners are doing right now. And when you think and do like everyone
else it’s usually the wrong thing to do at the wrong time.
My advice to you is to take my dad’s good advice and,
“Act like you’re going to be in business for awhile. The decisions get easier
when you do.”
Give Me 60 Minutes And I'll Show You The Secrets To Running A Profitable Service Business ... Even During A Recession!
Al Levi is a consultant and a contributing editor to PM
magazine and blogs for many other BNP trade magazines. Now he is presenting a
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