July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 93 ness wins without crashes or even caution flags. All of that is good, so I encourage you to take advantage of these good times—but remember, there will be another recession sometime, so take these steps to make your business recession-proof: Put money in the bank. Maybe not literally, but business-wise. Pay off as many debts as you can so that reduced sales (a lower income) will not destroy you. A paid-for inventory is like cash in the bank. In hard times it can (and will) save your business. OK, also literally put money in the bank. If (when) sales falter, be sure you have the ability to buy both inventory and advertising. Do not be spoiled by your recent success. It is easy to spend or save or grow when the money is coming in and business is good. It is hard to believe the good times may soon be in jeopardy. It is OK to enjoy today's profits, but don't spend it all. You may need it sooner than you think. Think about a goal of having enough to operate with no income for a while. This should not be foreign thinking, because you likely experienced it when you first started your business. I opened a new speed shop and was prof- itable from the very first month. Three years went by with constant growth, but in the fourth year, the economy collapsed in the region where I was located. I never did figure out how to sell when no one had the money to spend in my store. Normal daily sales in the thousands became daily sales as low as $200. After eight straight months of losses, I closed the doors. Because I had never failed in any busi- The recent popularity of events like the SEMA Show highlight the current strength of the market, but good times are not guaranteed to last. HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION

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