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Entrepreneurs and Squirrels Who Cross the Road

a squirrel and his nut | BIGG SuccessWe’ve had an abundance of squirrels in our neighborhood this fall. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from these furry creatures about storing up a hoard for winter and business cycles.

We were on our way to the grocery store not long ago. In the middle of the road, a squirrel had apparently stopped with its nut in his paws.

We don’t know what happened. We just know he didn’t make it.

Shortly thereafter, another squirrel ran across the road in front of us, with a huge nut in its mouth. We hit the brake hard to avoid hitting it.

It made us wonder:

Why did the squirrel cross the road?

Why did his friend give his life for a nut?

We returned home from our shopping excursion and took a break on our patio. Two squirrels scampered through our backyard – one squirrel chasing the other one.

Apparently, the smaller squirrel had wandered into unfriendly territory. He ran back across the street into familiar turf. Fortunately, he made it back home safely.

What can entrepreneurs and small business owners learn from these squirrels?

Risk increases when you cross the street to chase nuts.

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners focus too much on new customers in new territories.

New is exciting.

New gets the juices flowing.

New feels like progress.

But chasing nuts on the other side of the street means going up the learning curve. It requires taking more risk.

The most successful entrepreneurs are excellent risk managers. They know that “new” comes with more risk.

Larger, more established competitors are lurking. They will guard their turf vigorously. They will try to chase you away as soon as they learn about you.

And there are market forces which you may not fully understand at first. These vehicles can run you over, even when you’re feeling elated by finding a huge nut.

The most successful entrepreneurs devote more resources to growing relationships with existing customers. And looking for more customers nearby – customers who are just like the ones they already serve.

Of course, sometimes you do have to cross the road. But most of the time it’s better to focus on the nuts in your own backyard. It leads to BIGG success!

Would you like to make more money, more dependably? Maybe we can help.

 Image in this post from stock.xchng

Squirrels, Nuts and Business Cycles

squirrel You might think that our title has something to do with the recent behavior of Wall Street and Washington. It probably could, but in this case, it doesn’t.

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It does refer to seasons. We’re in the Midwestern United States. We’re heading into fall which, of course, means winter is just around the corner. Squirrels are busy hoarding up nuts so they will have the food they need to sustain them through the winter months.

Hot and cold, boom and bust

Like the seasons, our economy moves through times when things are hot and times when they’re cold. We experience booms and busts.

It’s interesting, though, that our friends in the southern hemisphere are just heading into spring. Things are heating up there while they’re cooling down here! It reminds us that most businesses do best during the boom times, but some actually prosper when times are tough.

Almost every business has products or services that will do better when the economy isn’t doing as well. With your offerings, which ones will save your clients money? Those are the items you should promote now as consumers seek to stretch their budget.

Your cash stash

Speaking of stretching our budgets, just like squirrels hoarding nuts for winter, we should all make sure we have an emergency cash reserve. Financial planners recommend keeping between three to six months of living costs stashed safely away for ready access.

In recent times, some have suggested a Home Equity Line-of-Credit could be substituted for this cash reserve. Only you can decide if that’s the right option for you; however, with what’s going on with banks and the credit markets, it may pay not be your best option for your crucial cash stash.

If you own a business, you should also look at your working capital. Is it adequate to take you through a slow season? If not, look for ways to cut your costs so you can shore up your cash hoard.

Purchasing out of season

The seasons also create opportunities for us when we’re purchasing. For example, if you live where we live, you’ll probably get a better deal right now on a lawn mower than a snow blower. Timing your purchase when demand is down on these bigg ticket items can save you money.

Tougher times also create opportunities for us as consumers. Businesses still have bills to pay. They want to keep the doors open. So they may cut deals now that they would never consider in good times.

Purchasing in season

With other items, you’re better off buying in season. Retailers will often lure you to their stores by drastically discounting these items. For example, isn’t turkey cheaper right before Thanksgiving than any other time?

Time Money has a great article about the best time to buy everything. Planning when to buy is just as important as what you buy. Buying on impulse less often will save you BIGG money more often!

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Next time, we ask, “Are you a victim of your own success?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

(Image by tome213)