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How does a small business survive in an era of economic downturn, i.e., reduced discretionary spending?

This is the dilemma facing small business owners in every sector of the economy. Consumers are reducing their personal debt and purchases, saving money any way they can. Unfortunately for those of us running small businesses, that means customers are not spending as much money on our products and services as they did previously.

What to do ? The conventional wisdom says we should use creative marketing techniques and increase our product line to add new revenue streams. Good advice, but an important part of the equation is missing : your bottom line is affected by costs as much as it is by revenue and you probably have more control over costs than income. So concentrate your efforts for the next quarter on REDUCING YOUR COSTS !

Look at every single cost item on your balance sheet and ask yourself what can be done to reduce that expense. Are there suppliers in your marketplace (or on-line) who might be able to save you money ? Will your existing suppliers work with you to make you more competitive and ensure your (and the supplier’s) long-term financial health ? Can you move or down-size to reduce occupancy costs (a CORE mailbox is a lot more cost-effective than a small office) ? Have you consulted with friends and colleagues about your cost structure and potential savings ? Helpful advice may come from unpredictable sources.

And don’t forget to talk to your CORE owner because he deals with the same problems that you confront every day and he and the other CORE store-owners have worked collectively to tackle this cost issue aggressively and effectively.

We’re in this together and CORE is doing everything possible to provide the most economical bundle of products and services available anywhere in our market area.