Don't Give Up!

Perhaps many of my fellow business owners have been feeling a bit gloomy over the state of the economy. I know I have. Here in Florida unemployment is currently at 12.3%, an unheard of rate. Contrast that with a record low rate of 3.3% just four years ago. Add in the tax deadline that just past, and the fact that our political leaders seem not to have a clue, one cannot help but fight the blues.

As many of you, I’ve had to make some tough decisions about my business. With virtually no new commercial construction, and no one adding staff, our industry has slowed. Is your business in the same boat? What should you do? Give up and close the doors? No, that is only the last resort.

Small business owners literally pour their blood, sweat and tears into business. Employees become friends, not just a bottom line that can be easily cut. I started North Florida Communications in 1990, right after my 21st birthday. Should I simply give up and go look for another job? NO WAY! And you shouldn’t either!

Times will get better. The economy will turn around at some point. When it does, my business will be there to assist our current customers, and many of the new entrepreneurs who will emerge. I encourage my fellow business owners to take the actions necessary to keep your businesses afloat.

My friend, I know how hard it is to make the tough decisions that may be necessary to keep your business going. I also know that fear of making the decision can be gut-wrenching and that fear can keep you from taking the necessary actions. Do not be overcome by that fear! Make the decisions that need to be made to help your business survive. When I think of someone who was able to overcome his fear to make the tough decisions, I think of George Washington.

During the French and Indian War, Lt. Colonel Washington served as an assistant to British General Edward Braddock. In July 1755, a fierce battler broke near Fort Duquesne, now the city of Pittsburgh. During this horrible battle, more than half of the British soldiers were killed or injured, while the French and Indians had few causalities. Did Washington cower in fear? No, he continued to encourage and lead his men. They had to retreat in order to fight another day and eventually go on to victory.

During that battle, Washington had two horses shot out from beneath him. Later, when the battle was over, he discovered four bullet holes in his jacket, yet he miraculously was uninjured. . The defeat wasn’t his fault, (the battle plan was Braddock’s) but Washington stayed in the battle and made the tough decisions.

Is the current state of your business your fault? If so, correct your mistakes. If you’ve made the right decisions, your business may still be suffering because of the sour economy. You must "play the hand you’re dealt" and make the decisions necessary to keep your business going. It won’t be fun, but at least you’ll be around to fight, and win, another day!

Larry Nazworth

Jacksonville (904)562-2100
Gainesville (352)260-0100
Ocala (352)547-3230