Thoughts on Law and Life

The Official Blog of Astrab Legal Services LLC

Know When to Say When

Hello from the world of the small business owner. Summertime is traditionally a slow time for many businesses due to many factors, many legitimate. There is no reason, however, to slow down prospecting activities during this period. There are always potential avenues for new business out there, and now that summer is coming to an end there are also no more excuses for not getting out there and seeking out new clients, customers or accounts.

A positive mindset is critical for achieving new business growth. If you believe you can do it and reinforce yourself each day with positive thoughts about building your business, then good things will come your way…it is when one slips into a negative, excuse-driven mindset that slowdowns, or at worst failure, will occur. I am not saying that thinking happy thoughts will bring in oodles of new business, but it is a start. Having a positive mindset will allow you to get up each morning and seek out new clients or brainstorm new ideas. A ‘woe is me’ attitude is a blueprint for slacking and transmits itself subconsciously to new business prospects.

What should you do? First of all, don’t sleep in – get to bed at a reasonable hour and get up at the same time each day. If you need coffee to kick-start your mind, set the pot the night before to have fresh java waiting for you when you get to the kitchen or the office. Shake off any negatives that may have occurred the previous day and re-affirm for yourself the reasons you started the business in the first place. Have a plan for the day, be it cold-calling, letter-writing or delving into busywork…try to schedule these activities as you would a client or prospect meeting and commit yourself to that time block. Don’t make exceptions – the first exception will snowball into another, and so forth. I cannot stress enough that remaining in a negative mindset or setting aside scheduled activities for non-business larks will kill your business in the long run.

Another key thing to think about is exit strategy – sometimes despite your best efforts a business plan will not work. You must know when to say when before you dig yourself and your family into a hole from which you cannot recover. I don’t mean to counteract the first three paragraphs of this post, but financial survival is critical…if despite your positive attitude and daily attempts at business development things don’t seem to be working out it is time to sit down and re-evaluate the business plan that you developed at the start of your venture. Analyze what your plan was, look for deviations from that plan and work to find why things aren’t going the way you believed they would. Seek out trusted friends/advisors to discuss your business efforts – listen to their feedback carefully. Look at your prospect ‘pipeline’ and determine if those individuals can be converted into paying clients within a reasonable period of time. Do NOT resort to measures such as financing your business through credit cards or home equity loans – you are doing nothing but incurring debt to potentially maintain life support on a dying proposition for a short period longer. Make a go/no go decision and stick with it.

The bottom line is that small business ownership is indeed the lifeblood of this country but that it is not for everyone. Do not destroy your family and your financial life over a business…in the end it is not worth the grief that will be brought. A lot of business gurus will tell you to never give up and never give in, but failure is indeed an event that every business should plan for and make efforts to avoid or alleviate.

Know When to Say When – it may be the best business decision you’ll ever make.

Michael K. Astrab is the principal attorney for Astrab Legal Services LLC, a general practice law firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. He may be reached at (216) 577-0013 or via e-mail at This blog is designed for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


August 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment