A Publication of WTVP

For small business owners, everything is amplified. For instance, the landing of a large new account is not only a professional success, it’s a personal success that can mean long-term financial security for your family. At the same time, every setback, small or large, hits even harder. When times are tough for the overall economy, they are exceptionally tough for small business owners.

Last month, Discover® Small Business Watch found that economic confidence among small business owners dropped to a record low. Nearly 80 percent of small business owners thought the U.S. economy was getting worse. With the prices of most goods rising, especially gas and food, nearly every participant in the American economy is feeling the pinch. It’s unavoidably trickled down—your customers are probably looking to change behaviors and cut back. The result for you and your small business: reduced opportunities, stagnant cash flow and slimmer profit margins.

Therefore, in times like these, it’s important that a small business do all it can to survive. A little bit of innovative thinking and belt tightening can go a long way—and for entrepreneurs, this should come naturally. Here are some tips that can have a big impact on your bottom line:

In the end, it’s up to each small business owner to decide what his or her priorities are when it comes to braving tough economic times. These ideas are just a few of the many available. Thinking outside the box is part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle, when first starting a business and furthermore when guiding its growth. Adapting and overcoming the challenges of today will make your business even stronger in the years to come.

Joseph R. Cardamone is president of the United States Federation of Small Businesses (USFSB). Founded in 1983 by small business owners, USFSB advocates for the rights and interests of small businesses and the self-employed. Their mission is to help their members grow and prosper by joining together and effectively promote small business interests before local, state and federal lawmakers.