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VOL. 126 | NO. 20 | Monday, January 31, 2011

Tom Pease

New Words for New Problems


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Small business owners have their own world of pain and problems unique to them. You may not have known it until this column, but new terms have come to describe them. If you have had a hard time finding the right words, check this list and see if it helps.

Winning Ugly. What you are doing right now. To achieve bottom line you visit areas you never have, but they work. Among them: getting rent concession, paying sales tax with credit card, reducing pay and hours, demanding vendors lower prices, refinancing loans or leases, taking a penalty to help cash, dialing for dollars, being a cheapskate. Whacking. Cutting. Buying groceries at Aldi.

Screen Vision. An addictive and incurable condition. When you realize you spend more time in front of screens than in front of customers.

TENE. Stands for Temporary Entrepreneurial Neuron Explosion. Plagues entrepreneurs when they begin living off their next big idea instead of making their present ones work.

It’s a Mona Lisa. When something looks good only on paper.

Job. Now classified as an export. Something the U.S. can lead China in.

Mind Ninja. When you are being mentally overwhelmed or overwhelming someone else mentally.

Cash No. Because you don’t have any. It goes out as fast as it comes in. This term replaces Cash Flow … you remember … when revenue grew a bit, customers paid on time, you did too, and banks loaned some.

Bipolar Disorder. Closely describes the up then down mental state experienced by owners. Also descriptive of the suddenness of mood swings that can occur.

Deciding While Intoxicated. This is business DWI and occurs when there is too much ego involved in decision-making. Most prevalent in men. Customers get it too.

Sales Menopause. When our business warrior gets into the 40s, passion and initiative to go out and get new business wane. Best to plan for this and move to a management position where wisdom and instinct are needed most.

Walking Between Raindrops. Braving through the week trying to avoid getting hit by bad news.

Eating and Drinking. Hopefully what your products in customers’ businesses are doing. No, this has nothing to do with a restaurant. It means when you sell your products, they produce a residual revenue stream such as service or supplies, that gets you through.

Pinballing. Staying in play, bouncing off one prospect after another as long as possible, until you light up for a score. Means one thing leads to another. Keep moving!

Change Monster. A force that devours businesses. Picture a Tyrannosaurus Rex with huge jaws hovered over your business wanting to destroy it. May be out there right now. Change is a certainty in business. It is coming. Change, or the monster has you for dinner.

Sales Prevention Unit. Management that gets carried away with command and control. Yes, sales people are unwieldy but they think you are too. Work together or lose business.

One last term and it goes on your business card: G.R.B.O. for Great Recession Business Owner.

Tom Pease is owner of e/Doc Systems, an office equipment company.

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