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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Featured Biz Question

How does a small (tiny) business survive when the owner is prone to overspending; accepts any solicitation; and buys any gadget that he sees (catalogs, on-line, etc.)? How does a small service business survive when the owner/head technician declines to submit work orders for billing and decides not to charge others for work performed, thus decreasing income? How does this small business of 10 years survive when the owner refuses to see that the business is losing money and wants nothing to do with the financial affairs of the business?

Our meager cash reserves are dwindling fast and he refuses to talk about it -- he hates confrontation. He is a necessary part of the business because of his experience and expertise. In that sense, he is not replaceable. Have you guessed that I'm his wife/associate? I'm desperate for help. We are in a small/mid-sized community. If I ask friends for help/guidance, word will quickly spread and the business will be doomed for sure. Any suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.
"Plain Jane"

Answer from our Guest Expert Terri Levine of Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc.

Dear Jane,

I can certainly hear your fear about the business failing and appreciate your difficult position as the wife of the business owner! Let's take a look at each question you raise and chew over some possible answers.

Overspending: Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

So... your husband overspends and is a pushover for purchasing whatever folks come to sell him. Is it possible to sit down with him and define the roles or functions of who is doing the purchasing for the business? Be it you, him, or possibly someone else? Does he even recognize he is overspending? Can you produce a budget with him? Perhaps writing down guidelines and figures together (in a non-confrontational setting and manner) can be a useful starting point.

Here's a possible solution: Perhaps you can set up a team of advisors for the business. These advisors are folks who don't work for the company, but who will help make decisions; they simply want to be supportive to the business. Then each purchase gets brought to the "team" and whatever the team recommends is carried out. This has worked great in all my businesses for the past 20 years and has kept me from buying stuff I "had to have" but the businesses didn't need or couldn't afford. (continued)

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About the Expert

Terri Levine
Owner of Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc.
Fed up with her high-paying, corporate job, Terri took control of her life and became a biz coach (and published author). She loves helping others to "work happy" in her new biz. more