My fellow small-business owners, we may be battered, we may be bruised, we may be scared out of our minds. But at least we are still in the game.
And the good news is, the technological revolution in small-business tools came just at the nick of time with readily available digital tools we can use -- right now, this week -- to get control of the crazy situation and keep our businesses, well, in business.
Here are three steps you can take today:
Use a free online collaboration tool
With all the hubbub, it is easy to forget that we live in a miraculous digital age with ever-cheaper PCs, PDAs and cell phones. And all these digital thingamabobs are connected via the Internet. Market events aside, assuming you have paid for your computers and equipment -- and you can afford $40 a month for broadband access -- the cost of exchanging the information you use to develop and manage your products can be astonishingly cheap.
In fact, the road to saving money is paved with any number of free online tools -- that's right, free! Before you pour that next cup of coffee, surf over and try Microsoft's
Bottom line: If you use voice and e-mail to describe information in documents that are then updated independently -- say, that stupid, marked-up spreadsheet with all those ugly numbers you got from the sales people today -- install one of these collaboration systems now. And get everyone working on a single document in real time.