NO BUSINESS RUNS smoothly all the time.  $#!^ happens, as they say, and you can bet that there will be tough financial times that your business will face.  In such situations, the cost of running the business escalates, but the income might not change.  There are a number of factors that contribute to tough times in business.  High energy costs, technology changes, and market, tax and real estate fluctuation are the main factors.  With little income, business people will find it hard to service the needs of their business.  It is good to know how you will keep your business alive until the situation gets back to normal.  There are a number of strategies that you need to keep in play so that you are on the safe side.  Closing down the business shouldn’t be your first reaction; rather, you should be aggressive to look for alternatives to keep the business rolling until the storm passes over.

The first strategy to apply is to get your finances in order.  If you can see a tough situation developing on the horizon, it’s smart to get your finances ready.  Make cuts on expenses first and try to reduce the operating costs associated with running your business.  You should definitely cut all the unnecessary expenses that aren’t adding any value to your business.  For example, you can reduce the amount of money you spend on luxury items like company cars, cell phones, laptops, expense accounts, entertainment budgets, etc.  Most people have personal phones, cars, laptops, etc., so they should survive.

Looking for bargains will also help you survive hard times.  It is good to look for suppliers who will deliver you goods at discounted prices. Take your time to search for lower cost alternatives.  This can be achieved if you make use of the Internet to compare the services offered by different companies. While on the Internet, shop around for a fair deal, but give your current suppliers the opportunity to keep your business at a lower price.  

If you are paying for services you can do by yourself, STOP!  Many businesspeople tend to misuse the title of a boss.  This is why they hire people to do menial tasks that they can do on their own.  Sorry chief, you might have to answer your own phone and send your own emails for a while. In tough times, such jobs can be done by you. It is not good to pay an employee when you are straining to make ends meet in your business.

Staying positive is a strategy that is best in seeing you through hard times.  Think like a winner and not a loser.  Be calculative and know how to handle the situation in a level-headed manner.  Know the assets you have that can be liquidated, know the bills you need to clear, and know where to get short-term loans if you absolutely need them.  Interact with positive people who have been in the industry for a while.  Chances are, they have already negotiated a few spells of tough times and can give you survival tactics.