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Stay Out Of Trouble Before you decide to call it quits, consider these tips for getting your business through tough times.

By C.J. Prince

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Just one year ago, all was well: Business was humming along nicely, the checks were rolling in, and you had to boost staff numbers to handle growth. But lately, things are too quiet: You've lost several customers because of their financial troubles, and other customers are paying late. Your accounts have dipped precipitously, and you've realized quite suddenly that if this continues, you might not have enough money to make next month's payroll.

With home equity loans and other fast credit harder to come by these days, a little bit of trouble can be that much harder to handle. But by recognizing the warning signs and acting on them, you can sidestep the abyss.

For starters, assess your cash-flow situation and set up a daily flash report to tell you the amount of cash on hand, the status of accounts receivable and how much is coming in and going out. If the bottom line is consistently negative, the status quo is not sustainable. Your payables are another good gauge, says Jerry Silberman, CEO of Corporate Turnaround. "Payables say everything: If they're getting older and older, it's crystal clear [that you're in trouble]," he says.

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