Finance

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Thursday, January 31, 2002

Returning to normal after Sept. 11

WITH MIKE ECCLES
Q: Sept. 11 has hit me hard financially, both personally as well as within my business. How can I get back on track?

A: From what we read from all of the experts, we are currently working our way out of the recession of 2001. Unemployment has slowed and spending has showed signs of returning to normal. But this is not the time to return to your old way of doing business. Now is the time to make some financial decisions that can help your business recover and grow into the future. Keep your staffing levels at a reasonable rate. Look into making an investment in telemedicine technology that can help maximize the staff you already have.

If you tightened your expenses belt, don't let it out just yet. Let your company return to normal without letting your expenses return to the previous levels. Keeping your expenses low will help make up for lost profits faster. The home health industry is still growing rapidly, even in this economy. There will be no shortage of patients; therefore, at times you need to learn to say no. Grow your business at a rate that you and your staff can handle, not at the growth rate of this industry. The economy will soon get back on track. Stay lean and mean, and you will get back there, too.

Mike Eccles is national accounts manager at Trinity Capital Corp in San Francisco. Reach him at 800-841-4433, x212

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