America’s small businesses are still suffering from poor sales and uncertainty, clouding any sense of recovery according to a recent survey and article in CNNMoney.com.
expenditures remain near record lows, sales are still weak, and credit lines
are hard to find,
according to the around 950 business owners NFIB surveyed in March. While job
cuts have slowed, few businesses say they plan to hire new workers within the
next three months.”
similar findings were part of a poll from American Express, which recently
polled businesses with 100 employees or less. About 20% said their companies
were “sinking ships” while more than 50% said they were merely
“staying afloat.” Just 21% reported that business was healthy or
sales still weak, businesses were still looking to payroll as THE place to cut costs.
The only bright spot? Layoffs are tapering off. And the
credit market may indeed be looking better according to a poll of banks of all
sizes, 80% of which stated they are planning on doing more lending to small
businesses this year.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
This is a downward spiral only credit can solve.
You have to spend money to make money. And with businesses
trimming payroll, they may be cutting off the hand that feeds them –
salespeople. And with credit tight, it’s understandable that 1 in 5 small
businesses believe they’re on a sinking ship.
So what else is in the bag of tricks to try to stick it out
staff. Sometimes we need to take a deeper look to see the forest through
the trees. And often that means looking at the caliber of staff. Are they
optimal? Are they the best possible staff you can have? Often times,
that’s not the case. Consider bringing some fresh blood into the business
to create a new energy, new ways of thinking, new ways of working your
company out of the funk and downturn its in.
your business. Necessity is the mother of invention. Is your business
relevant today? Perhaps it should move in another direction. Perhaps
there’s a service component that’s a small part of your business right
now. And perhaps that should be the main thrust of your business. Perhaps
there’s a complimentary business that should be part of the mix. There’s
no better time to forge strategic alliances to reduce duplication and
expenses, allowing you to combine sales, operations and even
It’s gloomy outside. How are you going to find your ray of
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