Feed ’em and Reap

The fundamental principle of finance in a capitalist market is making sure one's income exceeds one's outgo. The measure of success-by Wall Street, by a small business owner, or by an individual balancing his or her checkbook-is how much the income exceeds the outgo. And when the amount of income decreases, both businesses and individuals respond by reducing the outgo. The principle is sound. It's the details that need periodic re-examination. Historically, the expenses that often get trimmed first, such as advertising, compensation, merchandising, or training, are the ones that should be trimmed last-particularly those that involve your people and your market share. Both of these may put a few painful short-term holes in your balance sheet, but rarely has investing in high-quality, well-trained people and in keeping your name at the forefront of the buying public's consciousness not p

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