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6 Weeks to a Better Bottom Line It's time to shape up your business, and our expert plan will show you the way.

"You have to be pretty lean now, but there are opportunities to grow if you are in a position to take advantage of them," says Edward Marram, a senior lecturer at Babson College's Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship in Wellesley, Mass. "It's a good time to evaluate your business, find ways to conserve cash and improve. Then look at where other competitors aren't making it and go after those opportunities."

But taking a cold, hard look at your business--which has absorbed so much of your blood, sweat and tears--can challenge even the most tenacious entrepreneur. So we asked business-building experts to help us develop a six-week shape-up plan. They told us what to look for, how to set goals and measure progress and, most important, how to get to where you want to be.

Think of them as your personal trainers and set aside the next six weeks to exercise their principles. You'll build business muscle, lose resource-draining fat and speed up growth. But first, you'll have to step in front of the mirror and face those flabby, underperforming areas.

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