Tuesday, January 10, 2006

How to Cope with Catastrophe

Paul E Adams is a U.S.-based entrepreneur and former business professor who has been writing regular articles for the Canadian small-biz website, CanadaOne, almost since it started. Now he is hanging up his hat, and CanadaOne is highlighting some of his best columns.

I haven’t been a regular reader, but one of Adams’ best-of columns caught my eye. “Steps to Survival: How to Save a Sinking Business” mixes useful advice for troubled businesses with Adams’ own first-person chronicle of his 1982 descent into business failure and his long fight to turn things around. Not many authors of business advice have been through the wringer themselves, so this makes for lively reading – and excellent learning.

“All of my previous business experience and education did not prepare me for these emotions of failure,” Adams writes. “As a professor of business, I was not setting an example of successful entrepreneurship. My feelings of self-confidence and self-worth evaporated. In a year, I went from the excitement of a new business- to desperation. It was awful.”

Adams’ checklist for survival:
- Fire yourself as president – and reinvent yourself as a turnaround specialist.
- Be a Miser! Hoard every Dollar!
- Forecast your cash needs monthly.
- Start working with your creditors on new payment arrangements - before the collection calls begin.
- Collect the money that’s owed to you.
- Tap your inventory for money.
- Pump Up Your Sales Efforts.
- “Don't assume a single ad, a single article, your business card, a small sign, or a listing in the yellow pages will do it for you,” says Adams. “A sales and promotion strategy is as important as a financial strategy is to your success. It requires a credible message repeated many times.”

You can read the full story here.

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