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Question added to topic Grow Your BusinessDecember 17, 2008

Should I trade out of a recession, given my business is only 4 months old?

My car wash business has eight sites. Some are profitable, some are break-even, and two are unprofitable but growing. But in the past two months, the recession hit and sales have halved. I want to renegotiate the rent but don't know how. Each week we focus on sales-driving initiatives, but they all cost money (fliers, etc). We will struggle to pay wages and rent next month. Should I get out now, have a go to trade out until Christmas or what? If I stay in business, what should I do to survive a recession?
Cut the unprofitable locations and keep the good locations. Then, make the phone call to the landlord and make it simple: do you want to keep me or not? In a soft economy, you have some leverage in this scenario. Finally, focus on your existing customers. Do you have a database of them? If you don't have one, get one, and start a methodology to keep in contact with them. What can you do to get them back more often? Or, can you offer a new "mobile" service that goes directly to them? Get creative in thinking about your sales efforts--not to new customers, but to those you already have--and who are already the most profitable for you.

Brad Sugars is the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH. As an entrepreneur, author and business coach, he has owned and operated more than two dozen companies including his main company, ActionCOACH, which has more than 1,000 offices in 34 countries.

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