Casino Gambling and The Tao

It may seem strange to equate casino gambling with Taoist philosophy, but it may be because gambling is so much a part of and widely accepted in Chinese culture.

The very first recorded history of playing cards date back to 9th century China which makes sense being that they were the inventors of writing paper. The first book written with reference to playing cards dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) called Yezi Gexi. By the 11th century playing cards could be found throughout Asia featuring many of the 108 heroes of Lan Shun found in the Chinese classic the “Water Margin.”

In the 16th century playing cards had made their way to France and it is there that they began using the suits of picture cards that we are familiar with today based on figures of French nobility.

Taoist philosophy is said to be nearly 6,000 years old and came to prominence with the teachings of The Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, the first emperor of China. With many of their scientific discoveries such as mathematics and astronomy, there was also a deep connection to astrology, symbology (a science of symbols and their effects), numerology and many forms of mysticism.

In the 7th Pillar of Taoism, “The Tao of Mastery,” The symbol for water is K’AN and states, “to be successful and fortunate, risk must be taken.” Luck to the ancient Taoists was a form of control and timing.

Clearly in all gambling, timing is an important factor. Regardless of the type of gambling, all of it’s forms tend to run in cycles, both winning and losing ones. It is the skill which one navigates through these cycles that the player conveys their level of control over the outcome.

The first serious studies of gambling in the 20th century were done by economists who expressed their confusion that gambling is a losing proposition and in effect, irrational behavior. In 1945 William Vickery, a noted economist, concluded that gambling should be measured not in expected gains but by the money a gambler doesn’t have that appears to be more valuable to them than what he does have.

The typical view is that gambling is self-destructive, undermines the work ethic and removes money that could be put to better uses in the economy. The notion that most people tend to gamble beyond their means remains unproven and was disputed in research conducted in 1966 in the “Economics of Gambling” published in London, England. In this study it was found to be an affective outlet for frustration, a relief from loneliness and a leveler of inequality among the economic classes.

Many psychologists view gambling as a normal form of recreation and destructive only to the addicted. They stated that the solution lies in treating the gambler, not in the condemnation of gambling as a whole.

The casino patron is courted with opulent surroundings, swimming pools, shops, shows, night life and “comped” amenities. The attraction is undeniable as an escape from tedious and purposeless occupations. Being confronted with the myth of success, when faced with insurmountable economic and social obstacles, makes the whole casino experience much easier to understand.

My own opinion is that people who gamble solely for the thrills and excitement, with no care of the economic results, would do better to find a more fulfilling and less expensive hobby. Gambling is an isolated activity. It will not take the place of a meaningful relationship nor will it counteract feelings of alienation or loneliness. These are not reasons to gamble.

Using any type of gambling to fill a void in ones personal life, something which it cannot do, is the type of gambling that can lead to devastating consequences.

If you’ve ever been in a casino, there is one thing you’ve probably noticed more than anything else… that one thing is seeing people lose money. This happens because the amateur gambler enters into this competition without a basic knowledge of the odds of the games, a playing strategy or even a thought to proper money management. It’s a careless way to handle ones money and does little to change the inevitable outcome.

Casinos love this type of gambler and spend a fortune attracting their business. With the odds squarely in their favor, the casino operators know that even though there are highly effective methods of playing that can shift those odds to the player, very few of them will invest the time or effort to use them.

Common sense tells us that if everyone that gambles in casinos lost, they would cease to exist. In order to attract losers you must have winners and it is just as easy to win at many casino games as it is to lose.

I do not write for the weekend gamblers who are looking desperately to have a good time at any cost. Winning is not even in their vocabulary. They consider the possibility of winning to be remote as if being left completely to chance.

It is the individual who is determined to win at any cost that I feel are most like myself. It is to these individuals that I offer the following. There does exist many ways to achieve your goal. Resolve that you will learn everything you have to in order to win consistently when risking your hard earned money gambling in casinos. To me, nothing else makes sense.

Shifts In Casino Gambling Trends

The internet’s ability to blur boundaries and society’s acceptance of casino gambling and sports betting ultimately shed light on the inconsistencies and loopholes of American gambling laws. From the makeshift sports book stalls in Nevada, most sports betting activities shifted operations and exploited the possibilities of cyberspace in the mid-1990s. At present, there are numerous online gaming sites catering to sports betting and casino gambling based in countries like Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Ireland.

Despite overseas-based operations, the lion’s share of the revenues and clients of these sites come from American states. In fact, recent studies show that these online casino gambling and sports betting sites earn more than legal casinos operating in Nevada. The profits of online gambling and betting sites are estimated at $70 billion for 2005 alone. This is a staggering amount compared to the reported $2 billion from Nevada casinos. This is enough to overthrow the three-decade reign of Nevada casinos from the 60’s to the early 90’s. Considering that sports book and casino sites have been operating for less than two decades, they are clearly a threat to the thriving Nevada gambling scene.

For decades, Las Vegas is the only place legal for gambling operations. Atlantic City followed suit and made casino gambling legal; the following decades saw the proliferation of state lotteries, card clubs, gaming ships, Indian casinos, and off-track betting salons across the nation. But still, these developments are not enough to compete with online gambling. The industry of online gambling is not even swayed by staunch opposition from legal US casinos. The gambling laws of the United States of America do not help, too. They vary widely from the different states. Most states ban all forms of gambling while some make exceptions. Inconsistencies like these make it easy for online operators to find and use loopholes in the law. The American Gaming Association maintains a defensive stand regarding online gambling. The association pushes for federal laws on the regulation of online gambling. According to them, the unregulated nature of the online gambling industry is its advantage over traditional casinos; regulating it puts both camps on even footing.

But despite this stand, some Nevada casinos are following the old stand-by: if you cannot beat them, join them. November 1998 saw the start of a new trend; traditional casinos started acquiring off-shore online casino gambling companies to improve their profits. An affiliate of the Hilton Hotels absorbed the Australian sports book Centrebet.com. Other Nevada casinos followed and this cycle again spawned a new barrage of debates.

Contrary to their earlier dislike of the online gambling industry, the traditional casinos set their sights higher. They are now pressuring the Congress to pass a law that legalizes online gambling. This is done in an effort to lower production costs; legalization means that they could now shift their operations in the US. Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, the two leading casinos in Nevada and undoubtedly owning their own online gambling sites, lead the casinos in requesting for the regulation of online gaming. Clearly, this move requesting for regulation does not intend to put traditional casinos at par with online sites anymore. The competition shifted between independent online sites and Nevada casino-owned sites. A move to regulate translates to double profits for the Nevada casinos.

Whatever comes out of this new development in casino gambling, gamers are still assured of their gambling fix. Possibly, if the proposed regulation is approved, there would be more security in betting online since it is now under US laws. Like before, casino gambling proves itself to be a dynamic and ever-changing industry.

Online Casino Gamble

Looking to revel in the thrill of an online casino gamble, but you can’t get to Vegas? why not try your luck at online casino gamble. The online casino gamble community has evolved to become a large slice of the gambling pie.

Millions of gamblers turn to online gambling as a safe and fun way to spend a few bucks, with a chance to get hundreds or thousands $$$$ in return.

Online casino gambling and working are two different things. In casinos, there is the element of chance. You may get lucky once you learn a few strategies, but to earn a living from online casino gambling is totally out of the question.

Online casino gambling is just as safe for your money as playing in a regular casino. Except it’s easier and usually free to set up an account, after that you deposit as much or as little as you’d like using debit or credit card to fund your bet’s.

Internet security is even safer and online casino gamblers can feel much safer as there are now extra precautions to ensure your money, and your winnings, are protected.

The games available for online casino gambling are even more varied than those in traditional casinos. You will find virtual tables and rooms for dozens of types of poker: stud, Video Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Three-Card Poker and just about any poker variation you can think of.

You can even play online slot machines, blackjack, roulette, or any of hundreds of fast click-and-win games. The online casino gambler looking for a challenge will enjoy Baccarat.

By developing a good strategy for the game you are going to play you will be miles ahead of most who play online casinos. Participate on online gambling forums where you can learn from experienced players. As the famous saying goes: “Fools learn from their own mistakes; wise men learn from other people’s”.

While Black Jack, Slots and Roulette give you the smallest possibility to predict the game’s outcome, there are reputable strategies for Poker, Craps and Baccarat.

Blackjack is a very popular start to online casino gaming often, the best strategy is to stand depending on your hand and the dealer’s up card. The chance of the player winning a hand is independent of what happened before. Mathematically, players lose more when the “up card” the dealer has is an Ace or a 10.

You could try and master the Blackjack card counting strategy, which was derived by Edward O. Thorpe’s in 1962 with his revolutionary book “Beat the Dealer”.

Using his techniques He proved that “depending” on what cards had been played, one could determine what cards were left and this would dictate how the player should play his hand.

If for example more cards were left that favoured the player, the player had an advantage and could raise the bet size to capitalize on his advantage.

If you’re looking for a hand of Blackjack, a game of dice or a spin on the Roulette table Online Casino Gamble can be fun and profitable at the same time!

The 10 Commandments of Casino Gambling

My name is Ray W. and I have spent the past 40 years studying and playing every form of gambling/betting systems in existence. From the time I walked into my first pool hall at the age of 16 I’ve been fascinated with every aspect of it. I guess that makes me somewhat of an expert, if there really is such a thing. It’s not just me that’s fascinated though.

According to government statistics, 86% of Americans have reported gambling on something in the past 12 months. Approximately only 1/3 of the population consists of non-bettors. They state that 46% of adults gamble in casinos and seven out of ten frequent non-casino gambling. The primary source of which is horse racing, sports betting, state lotteries and online or private card games.

48 states have some form of legalized gambling with only Utah and Hawaii being the only two that do not. There are currently 13 states that have legalized commercial state sponsored casinos with a total of 443 of these establishments. The combined gross revenue for these 443 casinos was $30.74 billion annually.
The numbers are truly staggering.

Although I, like so many others, derive a great deal of enjoyment from it, any type of gambling that risks a person losing enough money to affect their standard of living (or that of their family) is self-destructive and should be avoided at all costs. I have personally watched a man lose his entire aluminum siding business overnight during a ridiculously extended session of heads-up gin rummy. Hard to believe, I know.

My attraction to gambling and casino table games in particular, is rooted in a deep desire to win every time I play. There is nothing compulsive about my approach to casino gambling. In fact, I do everything I can to take as much of the gamble out of it as possible.

The winning approach consists of only playing games that have no more than a 2% house advantage (Craps .60%, Baccarat 1.25%, Roulette 2.6% on even-money wagers and Blackjack, even money depending on the use of expert “Basic Strategy”) and rigorous adherence to an iron-clad set of precepts which are the “golden rules” or The 10 Commandments as I like to call them.

1. Never gamble when tired or depressed.

2. Never gamble with more than you can comfortably afford to lose.

3. Do Not drink alcohol before or during gambling sessions. It is the chloroform the casinos provide to separate the player from their money.

4. Keep playing sessions short.

5. Always preset a definite bankroll for gambling and Do Not exceed that amount.

6. If you are feeling “negative” about your surroundings (the table, dealers, other players or if in a losing cycle) stop betting and leave the table. The tables will still be there when your mood changes.

7. Avoid playing without a clear plan of action (betting strategy, min./max. wagers).

8. Do Not increase the size of your bets when losing. Increase wagers only when winning. This will limit losses and let winnings run up.

9. Know that the battle is not between you and the casino… it is between you and you alone. Always maintain your self-discipline.

10. Always quit when winning.

Winning consistently at these four casino table games is not that difficult. I do it all the time. There are playing and betting strategies that I believe shifts the advantage from the “house” to the player in any given short session of play.

The above 10 rules of gambling have been handed down to me by the most astute professional gamblers I have known over the years. They are essential to intelligent and consistent winning. Anyone who is not able to follow these rules has no business in a casino gambling with real money.

Life, like gambling, is a constant battle with the unknown. If you knew what the outcome would be in advance it would take all the fun out of it.

“The serious gambler is a man who is at war with chance. In the casino there is, whether he wins or loses, certainty… he consults the table, which speaks to him through the dice, as the Greeks consulted the oracles, and the oracle rewards him by telling him now, not next week or next year, whether the choices he makes are right or wrong.”

Offline and Online Casino Gambling

Gambling – offline as well as online casino gambling – has fast become a leisure activity attracting a growing number of people. Offline Casino gambling is often combined with travelling and vacations to Las Vegas, Atlantic City and quite a few other cities in the USA, with an increasing number of Indian Casinos included. Casino gambling is also a popular pursuit in Europa as well as most parts of the world. However, for some the access to casinos are limited or absent. The internet however, offers a lot of gambling and gaming opportunities for those.

In USA we can identify at least five groups of casinos or casino gaming establishments

Luxurious land based casinos
Cruise ship casinos
Indian Casinos
Riverboat casinos
Local card gaming clubs

The first city that comes to mind when we talk about luxurious casinos is Las Vegas. There has been legalized gambling in Nevada for decades but the real boom has developed over the recent years. The growth of casinos and hotels in Vegas can seem out of control. Due to the invasion from gambling and entertainment hungry people from all over the world, Las Vegas has become the fastest growing city in the United States.

Though family resorts, with theme parks and other attractions for the juniors have popped up like toad hats over the years, developers in Vegas now tend to prioritize more adult oriented establishments. The opening of the luxury Wynn casino in May 2005 is a good example of this trend. Las Vegas – with all it’s casino gambling jet set pomp and glitter – belongs to the adult generations.

The Indian casinos as well as the riverboat casinos and local gambling clubs are more sober alternatives to the luxury in Vegas. As the demand for gambling adventures are booming in all regions of the country, these kinds of casino establishments has grown equally.

The casino gambling alternative that most people find their way to is, internet casino gambling. The availability is outrageous and it is you who decide when to play and you can play from any location on the globe that has an internet connection.

If you are a newbie you can now train yourself to become an professional casino gambler from the comfort of your home. It’s good not to feel the pressure from other players when you are experimenting with different strategies and gaining your basic gaming skills. Your best teacher is your mistakes; do them peacefully from your home, without any critical I-know-best voices. Another reason for playing casino online is that you save money on a hotels, restaurants and airfares. It is also easier for disabled persons to access an online casino than an offline. Remember that an online casino is like a real casino – it has the same games; black jack, poker, roulette, baccarat, craps and others – the same excitement and you can win real money.

Just one final advice: The internet is overloaded with gambling and casino websites. Among such a big crowd of gambling offers, there has to be some bogus ones Stay away from those and keep to recommended online casino gambling websites. Good luck!

Online Casino Gambling: A Global Phenomenon

If you check to see where the headquarters of the online casino gambling establishments that you like to visit are located, you’ll discover that a great percentage of them are based in the Caribbean (there and Gibraltar) — on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, specifically. But as of late, a global pool of lawmakers and online casino gambling detractors, including the WTO (World Trade Organization) itself are trying to get these establishments shut down.

Fortunately for us players, the boom in online casino gambling has a life of its own — one that will not so easy be quashed. In fact, a panel investigating the dispute ruled that the U.S. was in violation of its own financial regulations when it gets in the way of American financial institutions engaging in transactions with Antigua-Barbuda online casinos. Score one for online casino gambling.

Actually, score more than that. Numerous countries are starting to face facts about the lucrative business of online casino gambling and finding ways for their local economies to capitalize on the craze. Not only does online casino gambling provide to the local communities that license and regulate them enormous sums of money in the form of tax revenues, but the online casino gambling industry also fosters huge job growth in whatever geographical areas it touches. Consider Antigua-Barbuda, where 30% of the residents are employed by online casino gambling establishments.

It is surely with incentives like those in mind that Prime Minister Tony Blair is trying to enact new legislation in the U.K. that will likely encourage more casinos to be built and a rise in casino gambling throughout the country. Supported by 53% of British voters polled, the new Bill if enacted will, among other things, remove all slot machines from around 6,000 different places and allow them to be placed together in new casinos with extended hours of operation. This legislation may even coax existing online casinos to move their bases of operations to Britain. Many observers and analysts believe this will inevitably lead to other similarly supportive measures aimed at online casino gambling as well.

Meanwhile, the French reportedly gamble 2 times more and for 3 times longer than their British counterparts. France’s citizens have been enjoying online casino gambling for years, especially since a loophole in European Union policy that heavily restricts land-based casino gambling (essentially requiring any French citizen who wishes to gamble to do so exclusively in state-run operations) has no bearing on online casino gambling, practically ensuring the industry a steady stream of eager participants. In fact, many believe that the popularity of online casino gambling is responsible for the skyrocketing demand for high-speed, broadband internet service.

The Australian government is getting into the action as well, granting an online casino gambling site a license to open a customer service center in the state of Tasmania. Recruiting has already begun, and an estimated 300 jobs will be created in the high-unemployment area.

A growing interest in online casino gambling in Asia has led to one of China’s most popular pastimes – the 4,000-year-old card game Mahjong – being offered as a multiplayer online casino game. Approximately 45% of Chinese people polled report that they play Mahjong regularly for money and whether China permits online casino gambling or not, there will be no shortage of players worldwide flocking to any site that offers the game.

Recently a campaign has been put into motion to legalize online casino gambling in Japan as well, supported by the country’s Liberal Democratic Party, currently in power. Several departments in the government have been brought in to figure out how to make this work for Japan’s economy, and it is expected that online casino gambling operators may be invited to contribute to the talks in due time.

And online casino gambling may be right around the corner for Israel, the country’s social and economic cabinet having just given permission for two horseracing tracks to be built, equipped of course with full-fledged betting. In order to make this work, the Israeli government will be obliged to lift its long-standing ban on sports gambling.

Shifts In Casino Gambling Trends

The internet’s ability to blur boundaries and society’s acceptance of casino gambling and sports betting ultimately shed light on the inconsistencies and loopholes of American gambling laws. From the makeshift sports book stalls in Nevada, most sports betting activities shifted operations and exploited the possibilities of cyberspace in the mid-1990s. At present, there are numerous online gaming sites catering to sports betting and casino gambling based in countries like Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Ireland.

Despite overseas-based operations, the lion’s share of the revenues and clients of these sites come from American states. In fact, recent studies show that these online casino gambling and sports betting sites earn more than legal casinos operating in Nevada. The profits of online gambling and betting sites are estimated at $70 billion for 2005 alone. This is a staggering amount compared to the reported $2 billion from Nevada casinos. This is enough to overthrow the three-decade reign of Nevada casinos from the 60’s to the early 90’s. Considering that sports book and casino sites have been operating for less than two decades, they are clearly a threat to the thriving Nevada gambling scene.

For decades, Las Vegas is the only place legal for gambling operations. Atlantic City followed suit and made casino gambling legal; the following decades saw the proliferation of state lotteries, card clubs, gaming ships, Indian casinos, and off-track betting salons across the nation. But still, these developments are not enough to compete with online gambling. The industry of online gambling is not even swayed by staunch opposition from legal US casinos. The gambling laws of the United States of America do not help, too. They vary widely from the different states. Most states ban all forms of gambling while some make exceptions. Inconsistencies like these make it easy for online operators to find and use loopholes in the law. The American Gaming Association maintains a defensive stand regarding online gambling. The association pushes for federal laws on the regulation of online gambling. According to them, the unregulated nature of the online gambling industry is its advantage over traditional casinos; regulating it puts both camps on even footing.

But despite this stand, some Nevada casinos are following the old stand-by: if you cannot beat them, join them. November 1998 saw the start of a new trend; traditional casinos started acquiring off-shore online casino gambling companies to improve their profits. An affiliate of the Hilton Hotels absorbed the Australian sports book Centrebet.com. Other Nevada casinos followed and this cycle again spawned a new barrage of debates.

Contrary to their earlier dislike of the online gambling industry, the traditional casinos set their sights higher. They are now pressuring the Congress to pass a law that legalizes online gambling. This is done in an effort to lower production costs; legalization means that they could now shift their operations in the US. Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, the two leading casinos in Nevada and undoubtedly owning their own online gambling sites, lead the casinos in requesting for the regulation of online gaming. Clearly, this move requesting for regulation does not intend to put traditional casinos at par with online sites anymore. The competition shifted between independent online sites and Nevada casino-owned sites. A move to regulate translates to double profits for the Nevada casinos.

Whatever comes out of this new development in casino gambling, gamers are still assured of their gambling fix. Possibly, if the proposed regulation is approved, there would be more security in betting online since it is now under US laws. Like before, casino gambling proves itself to be a dynamic and ever-changing industry.

Online Casino Gambling: A Global Phenomenon

If you check to see where the headquarters of the online casino gambling establishments that you like to visit are located, you’ll discover that a great percentage of them are based in the Caribbean (there and Gibraltar) — on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, specifically. But as of late, a global pool of lawmakers and online casino gambling detractors, including the WTO (World Trade Organization) itself are trying to get these establishments shut down.

Fortunately for us players, the boom in online casino gambling has a life of its own — one that will not so easy be quashed. In fact, a panel investigating the dispute ruled that the U.S. was in violation of its own financial regulations when it gets in the way of American financial institutions engaging in transactions with Antigua-Barbuda online casinos. Score one for online casino gambling.

Actually, score more than that. Numerous countries are starting to face facts about the lucrative business of online casino gambling and finding ways for their local economies to capitalize on the craze. Not only does online casino gambling provide to the local communities that license and regulate them enormous sums of money in the form of tax revenues, but the online casino gambling industry also fosters huge job growth in whatever geographical areas it touches. Consider Antigua-Barbuda, where 30% of the residents are employed by online casino gambling establishments.

It is surely with incentives like those in mind that Prime Minister Tony Blair is trying to enact new legislation in the U.K. that will likely encourage more casinos to be built and a rise in casino gambling throughout the country. Supported by 53% of British voters polled, the new Bill if enacted will, among other things, remove all slot machines from around 6,000 different places and allow them to be placed together in new casinos with extended hours of operation. This legislation may even coax existing online casinos to move their bases of operations to Britain. Many observers and analysts believe this will inevitably lead to other similarly supportive measures aimed at online casino gambling as well.

Meanwhile, the French reportedly gamble 2 times more and for 3 times longer than their British counterparts. France’s citizens have been enjoying online casino gambling for years, especially since a loophole in European Union policy that heavily restricts land-based casino gambling (essentially requiring any French citizen who wishes to gamble to do so exclusively in state-run operations) has no bearing on online casino gambling, practically ensuring the industry a steady stream of eager participants. In fact, many believe that the popularity of online casino gambling is responsible for the skyrocketing demand for high-speed, broadband internet service.

The Australian government is getting into the action as well, granting an online casino gambling site a license to open a customer service center in the state of Tasmania. Recruiting has already begun, and an estimated 300 jobs will be created in the high-unemployment area.

A growing interest in online casino gambling in Asia has led to one of China’s most popular pastimes – the 4,000-year-old card game Mahjong – being offered as a multiplayer online casino game. Approximately 45% of Chinese people polled report that they play Mahjong regularly for money and whether China permits online casino gambling or not, there will be no shortage of players worldwide flocking to any site that offers the game.

Recently a campaign has been put into motion to legalize online casino gambling in Japan as well, supported by the country’s Liberal Democratic Party, currently in power. Several departments in the government have been brought in to figure out how to make this work for Japan’s economy, and it is expected that online casino gambling operators may be invited to contribute to the talks in due time.

And online casino gambling may be right around the corner for Israel, the country’s social and economic cabinet having just given permission for two horseracing tracks to be built, equipped of course with full-fledged betting. In order to make this work, the Israeli government will be obliged to lift its long-standing ban on sports gambling

Small Business Survival Tips

No matter what kind of small business you have, you need read these “small business survival tips” which will help you to succeed.

You may be in Internet business, traditional business, or you may be a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever–you’ve got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a “tight ship.”

Some of the things you can and should do include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We’ve all bought merchandise or services we really didn’t need simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps in response to the flamboyancy of the advertising or the persuasiveness of the salesperson. Then we sort of “wake up” a couple of days later and find that we’ve committed hundreds of dollars of business funds for an item or service that’s not essential to the success of our own business, when really pressing items had been waiting for those dollars.

If you are incorporated, you can eliminate these “impulse purchases” by including in your by-laws a clause that states: “All purchasing decisions over (a certain amount) are contingent upon approval by the board of directors.” This will force you to consider any “impulse purchases” of considerable cost, and may even be a reminder in the case of smaller purchases.

If your business is a partnership, you can state, when faced with a buying decision, that all purchases are contingent upon the approval of a third party. In reality, the third party can be your partner, one of your department heads, or even one of your suppliers.

If your business is a sole proprietorship, you don’t have much to worry about really, because as an individual you have three days to think about your purchase, and then to nullify that purchase if you think you don’t really need it or can’t afford it.

While you may think you cannot afford it, be sure that you don’t “short-change” yourself on professional services. This would apply especially during a time of emergency. Anytime you commit yourself and move ahead without completely investigating all the angles, and preparing yourself for all the contingencies that may arise, you’re skating on thin ice. Regardless of the costs involved, it always pays off in the long run to seek out the advice of experienced professionals before embarking on a plan that could ruin you.

Particularly when sales are down, you must be “hard-nosed” with people trying to sell you luxuries for your business. When business is booming, you undoubtedly will allow sales people to show you new models of equipment or a new line of supplies; but when your business is down, skip the entertaining frills and concentrate on the basics. Great care must be taken however, to maintain courtesy and allow these sellers to consider you a friend and call back at another time.

Your company’s books should reflect your way of thinking, and whoever maintains them should generate information according to your policies. Thus, you should hire an outside accountant or accounting firm to figure your return on your investment, as well as the turnover on your accounts receivable and inventory. Such an audit or survey should focus in depth on any or every item within the financial statement that merits special attention. in this way, you’ll probably uncover any potential financial problems before they become readily apparent, and certainly before they could get out of hand.

Many small companies set up advisory boards of outside professional people. These are sometimes known as power Circles, and once in place, the business always benefits, especially in times of short operating capital. Such an advisory board or power circle should include an attorney, a certified public accountant, civic club leaders, owners or managers of businesses similar to yours, and retired executives. Setting up such an advisory board of directors is really quite easy, because most people you ask will be honored to serve.

Once your board is set up, you should meet once a month and present material for review. Each meeting should be a discussion of your business problems and an input from your advisors relative to possible solutions. These members of your board od advisors should offer you advice as well as alternatives, and provide you with objectivity. No formal decisions need to be made either at your board meeting, or as a result of them, but you should be able to gain a great deal from the suggestions you hear.

You will find that most of your customers have the money to pay at least some of what they owe you immediately. To keep them current, and the number of accounts receivable in your files to a minimum, you should call them on the phone and ask for some kind of explanation why they’re falling behind. if you develop such a habit as part of your operating procedure, you’ll find your invoices will magically be drawn to the front of their piles of bills to pay. While maintaining a courteous attitude, don’t hesitant, or too much of a “nice guy” when it comes to collecting money.

Something else that’s a very good business practice, but which few business owners do is to methodically build a credit rating with their local banks. Particularly when you have a good cash flow, you should borrow $100 to $1,000 from your banks every 90 days or so. Simply borrow the money, and place it in an interest bearing account, and then pay it all back at least a month or so before it’s due. By doing this, you will increase the borrowing power of your signature, and strengthen your ability to obtain needed financing on short notice. This is a kind of business leverage that will be of great value to you if or whenever your cash position becomes less favorable.

By all means, join your industry’s local and national trade associations. Most of these organizations have a wealth of information available on everything from details on your competitors to average industry sales figures, new products, services, and trends.

If you are given a membership certificate or wall plaque, you should display these conspicuously on your office wall. Customers like to see such “seals of approval” and feel additional confidence in your business when they see them.

Still another thing often overlooked: If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in the business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run the business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business. These people should include your attorney, accountant, any consultants or advisors, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience. Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable.

Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available. The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklist and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses. these publications are available through the U.S.Government printing office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of the services offered by your bank and local library.

The important thing about running a small business is to know the direction in which you’re heading; to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction; to be aware of what your competitors are doing and to practice good money management at all times. All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise.

In order to survive with a small business, regardless of the economic climate, it is essential to surround yourself with smart people, and practice sound business management at all times