5 Tips for Small Business Owners in a Down Economy

If you’re a small business owner, you may have spent some serious time in the last few months strategizing about how you’ll stay afloat during a down economy. You’ve probably made some tough decisions and feel like things are spiraling out of control. So how do you keep your company running smoothly during rocky times? We spoke with Holly Bohn, the CEO and founder of See Jane Work , a company dedicated to making women more productive by providing them with functional, beautiful and efficient office supplies. An entrepreneur at heart, Bohn gave us some tips on how she keeps her company running smoothly in rocky times. Check out her tips to ease your office anxiety.

Make the hard decisions fast

You have to be honest with yourself and know what your company can support. I had a couple of deals I was working on that had great potential, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to support them and keep everyone on my staff. So I had to let a couple people go. It wasn’t easy, because I love my employees, but you have to be able to make the hard decisions and make them fast. Ultimately, the less overhead you have the better.

Find ways to discount your product

We are a higher-end brand, so we typically have not been ones to discount. But in this economy, you have to consider how to make your prices more affordable for customers. One way to do this is to approach your vendors and ask if there is a way to offset the discounts.

Build strong relationships with vendors and clients

If you have a strong relationship with a vendor, they’ll be more likely to work with you to offset your discounted prices. If you have a relationship built on trust and respect, your vendors will want to do more to try to keep working with you in tough times like these.

Keep your home-life flexible

It’s tempting to upgrade during good times, but if you’re a small business owner, it’s important to stay flexible. Don’t tie yourself into a huge mortgage, or don’t go through with that addition to your house if it’s not necessary, because things can change quickly.

Be financially efficient

Again, when making decisions about the company, always ask yourself, “do I absolutely need to do this?” Do you have to rent that bigger warehouse if you can reorganize the space you have? It’s amazing what kind of creativity comes to you when you have a lack of money. You are forced to be creative.

Holly Bohn founded See Jane Work in 2003, and it has since received widespread media attention and acclaim, featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Real Simple, Domino, InStyle, Better Homes & Gardens and many more. Bohn also owns Bohn & Associates, a business consulting company, which she started in 1999.

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