Don’t Panic in these times

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    Helo Pavemanpro’s, I recall in the late 70’s early 80’s when we as a country were in a deep recession. Remember the oil embargo, and the high interest rates that put many of us out of business? Some of you veteran’s will remember those days. Well, i have a few pointers that will help you thru the tough economic times we are in and about to face head on in 2009. The first thing is don’t panic! panic takes you out of focus. look at it this way if you are struggling financially, take a hard look at what is draining your cash. What has you living off high interest credit cards? What type of payments are you making each 30 days? Some of these questions have to be looked at before you can formulate your own bail out plan. If you have say two or more pieces of equipment on payments at your local bank, go to your banker and let him know what you are facing at this time. Tell the banker that you need to have some relief from the high payments due the bank every 30 days. If you have a strategy in your mind showing the banker you intend to pay the full amount loaned, but need to restructure your loans on a 3 or 4 month reduced or skip payment program. I did this many times in tough times. all they are really doing is putting the payments on the end of the loan. You are still paying on the note, just restructured. Say, no payments for Dec. thru March. at least a reduced maybe interest only. You will be surprised how they will work with you. Remember, they do not want your equipment back!!! They will work with you if you have a sincere approach and show them you are excited for the upcoming season. You want to show your banker that you are just in a tough position, but that the restructure will keep you floating until season starts. Maybe bring in a few signed contracts showing your projections for the upcoming season. Now in regards to your cash flow. The cash you have is gold right now, keep in mind the 45 day average from completing your first job thru getting the check. If you are servicing larger corps. that work on a po system, this can be tough getting out of the gate. Target cash patching, cracksealing, private driveways, anything that generates quick cash. A couple thousand in cash each week is a God send in the spring.. right now stop wasting money on unnecessary equipment repairs, parts buying, unnessary wasting of gas, and company employee loans at this time.. it is ok in the fall when cash is flowing in,, but now till March buckle up and save it if you can. Credit cards are so easy to flip out during these times. Remember you may have to use these in the spring for start up. Call the credit card companies and request a lower interest rate.. they will listen to you, if you have always been a good customer with a fair payment record they will work with you. Today obtaining loans and new credit cards is as tough as i have ever seen it. Be smart with the cards. They will be looking more intensely at credit history, and payment history.. keep them on time at this time, new cards will be harder to obtain as as the rules for a line of credit is getting tighter. protect what you already have active. Also in the spring when you start up, when buying you materials from your suppliers, wait 30 days, pay with your credit card if you can and then you will have an additional 30 days to get money in to pay the cards off! So you for all purposes have now 60 days of credit. Well i hope you can use some of this to your advantage, i am however very optimistic with the upcoming season, and feel that with the tough winter we have and are still into will create tons of patching and get all of you out of the gate and into a much needed cash flow early. Also again if you are going to be in Charlotte for the pavement show look me up at booth #418. I look forward to seeing all of you and discuss additives and the pavement maintenance industry in general. See you there.

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