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Coping with a Cash Crunch How three entrepreneurs hunkered down to ride out the recession.

By Fawn Fitter

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Into every entrepreneur's life the occasional rain must fall. Hence that old chestnut about saving for a rainy day. But when the drizzle turns into a downpour and your financial cushion is deflated, bailing out your budget and keeping your company from sinking means making difficult decisions. Three experienced entrepreneurs who have faced down the challenge and survived agreed to share the choices they made. Their strategies demonstrate that there are more ways to stay afloat in a cash crunch than scrambling for a life-preserving loan.

Slash lease and IT costs
VDL-5 Technologies, Santee, Calif.
Employees: 5
2010 revenues: $500,000+

A small, veteran-owned company that creates electronic equipment manuals for the military, VDL-5 got caught in a squeeze common to government contractors: a delayed contract. Co-founder and CFO Tamara Harpster had to reassess the company's finances again and again as a contract originally expected in late 2009 was delayed three times: first until July 2010, then until September, and again until December.

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