The recovery is just around the corner, right? Well, maybe if you’re Goldman Sachs and money keeps falling into your lap. But if you’re a small business owner, don’t count on sunny skies anytime soon, says this Wall Street Journal article.
The problem, of course, is credit. Or more precisely, the lack thereof. Loans have fallen off a cliff. In fact, there have been more Bigfoot sightings this year than actual loans to small businesses. OK, we exaggerate, but not by much. Credit card lines, too, have been trimmed by 25 percent since last year. So what’s a small biz owner to do? We hear there’s a fortune to be made in online Sasquatch videos.
Good Reception. Want to do your part to rescue the economy? Instead of picking up the phone to converse with far-off business suppliers and customers, hop on a plane and pay them a personal visit. Seem a bit extravagant? Not to the U.S. Travel Association and the National Business Travel Association. These two organizations recently released studies suggesting that face-to-face meetings can lead to increased profits. One of the studies even suggested that U.S. companies are missing out on $193 billion in profits this year just by skimping on business travel. This may be a stretch, but then again, it might not. After all, when’s the last time you closed a deal while continuously uttering the phrase, “Can you hear me now?”
Payment Blues. Ask any small business owner. The number-one issue in the economic downturn isn’t getting work — it’s getting paid. The Dallas Morning News talked to one fed-up business owner who said his customers are now taking an average of 75 days to pay their bills, compared with 55 days at the beginning of the year. Nationally, 60 percent of entrepreneurs are experiencing cash flow issues, up from 55 percent a year ago, according to a recent American Express OPEN survey of 763 small businesses. The good news? Rocco, the guy on the corner who busts heads, reports that his business has never been better.