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Glory Days? An economic boom isn't always a boon for entrepreneurs.

By Charlotte Mulhern

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You've heard the saying: In life, there are no guarantees.So consider this: Although the economy is flourishing andunemployment rates are down, and despite the fact that countlessbusinesses are doing better than ever, continued prosperity is nota sure thing.

Experts insist it's actually quite a challenge to survive ina booming economy, when entrepreneurs are being seduced by the goodtimes, says John Keough of management consulting firm George S. MayInternational Co. in Park Ridge, Illinois. "They expect thosetimes will last forever," he says, "and make longer-rangecommitments based on extraordinarily good times, [a strategy] that,in a downturn, could be very difficult [for thebusiness]."

But entrepreneurs privy to the unwelcome effects of a falsesense of security have resolved to protect their ventures."It's more difficult [to operate the business] during goodtimes," says Rick Maguire, owner of Fortier Inc. in Conway,Arkansas. "One reason is you're busier, and you tend tomake more mistakes." He knows firsthand about rapid growth:Four years ago, his business, which sells walk-in coolers, drinkdispensers and other equipment found in convenience stores, pulledin $4 million in sales. Today, that figure's reached astaggering $14 million, with $19 million projected by year-end.

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