Rhonda Abrams At Gannett News Service:

I’ve heard a lot of doom and gloom from small-business owners lately. After all, the economy stinks. Headlines scream at us: Consumer confidence is down, unemployment is up. Housing prices are down, business closings are up.

In the face of all that, I have a piece of advice, “Pull up your pants!”

Heck, those of us who have small businesses don’t have to read the news to know times are tough. We see what’s happening in our own businesses. Costs are up, sales are down. We have fewer customers, and the customers we have place smaller orders.

Nevertheless, I say again — in the words of President-elect Barack Obama — “Pull up your pants!”

Here are ways to pull up your pants, roll up your sleeves, and survive, even thrive:

– Sit down and plan.
– Look for new markets and new customers.
– Retain current customers.
– Position yourself as the less-expensive alternative.
– Look for digital solutions.
– Get out there and make sales.

Most importantly, make up your mind: Are you going to be one of the fatalities or one of the survivors? Are you going to let the times overwhelm you or learn to change with the times? If you want to be one of the winners instead of one of the losers, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and pull up your pants!

Photo by Freedom Foundation.

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