Money and Mojo: The New Keys to Small Business Success

If owning a business is like leading a blues band, then right now many business owners feel like 1950’s bluesmen watching Pat Boone re-record their hits and turning them into gold records.

Business owners are struggling to define and retain their:


If they need to spend money now, they expect disruptions in borrowing cash.


As banks break more lending promises, an owner’s’ suppliers and customers have followed suit and aren’t fronting or paying on time.


Value is what someone will pay for anything today and what they think it’s worth tomorrow.

Taking “incoming” in all forms, owners have lost credit, customers and vendors.  Psychologists like Kubler and Ross describe five phases of loss as denial, anger, bargaining, pity and acceptance.

It’s clear many business owners are still passing through these stages after this winter’s financial crisis.  But now, most are coping with a new more difficult reality after months of denial, anger, negotiating and pity as many have accepted how badly their worlds have been rocked.  Most small business owners realize that not only won’t the new government help them, but neither will big business or banks.  The smartest business owners have accepted that they must learn new tricks to survive and thrive in the new economy.  Which business owners are succeeding and what can we learn from watching and doing business with them?

Successful owners stand out from their peers in two ways:  By their money and their mojo.

Business owners with money are “Rock Stars.” They:

  • Usually have little or no debt and access to more if they need it
  • Can buy what they need to when they want to
  • Do look beyond the short term and make plans for the short term

Business owners with courage rule their worlds like a “Jukebox Hero.” They:

  • Have the confidence to say no to bad business and negotiate for good business
  • Demonstrate the capability to maintain and improve what they make and sell
  • Make and keep promises to vendors, employees and customers

If you are a business owner with money and mojo, you know you should:

  • Negotiate for more service and bigger discounts by paying up front
  • Build your market share by cutting prices or increasing service and value
  • Snatch or “buy” your competitors’ customers

If you are a business owner without money and mojo, you should:

  • Analyze which of your customers have money and mojo. Offer them discounts they can’t refuse.
  • Team up with your customers who bundle and sell your products and services to their customers. Give them the latitude and support to make offers their cash-rich customers can’t refuse
  • Make some free offers or provide a money-back guarantee to new prospects you know have high confidence in their plans and the cash to implement them.

In tough times, it is especially good to be the rock star or to at least party with rock stars.  If you have the gold, make your own hits.  If you don’t have money and mojo, then find out who does and make some music together.  Their “Midas” touch may turn out to be contagious!  May you catch all you can!

* * * * *

Ivana Taylor About the Author: Andy Birol is the author of “Focus. Accomplish. Grow… the Business Owner’s Guide to Growth.” He is also a noted small business coach, consultant and speaker who has been interviewed on CNN, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, and Fortune Small Business.


Andy Birol

Andy Birol Andy Birol is the author of "The Five Catalysts of Seven Figure Growth." He is also a noted small business coach, consultant and speaker who has been interviewed on CNN, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, and Fortune Small Business. His blog is Profitable Growth.

10 Reactions

  1. Interesting post. Wouldn’t we all love to have money and mojo! You’re right though; if you don’t have it, find someone who does and hook up with them. Put your products and services directly in the view of these “rock stars” who are more likely to spend the most.

  2. Great post Andy. Love the comparisons of Small Businesses to Rock & Roll!

  3. “If you have the gold, make your own hits.”

    That’s a very true statement. That slogan / song text would be perfect on a t-shirt… I want to get one with “Au H2O”. Rock ‘n’ roll ruled in 1964! :) If you want to sing along and catch the tune, check out the hit (post) on my billboard… (Click on “Martin Lindeskog” Says:) :)

  4. Andy Birol: It was fascinating to read your bio on your site. You have “traveled, lived, spoken or worked in 59 countries and all 7 continents”!

    Where do you think it is best to have business nowadays? Could you point out some businesses that are successful at the moment?

  5. If a business has cash to burn and access to credit in this economy, they are indeed rock stars. Great point Andy.

  6. I was astounded by your statement: “Psychologists like Kubler and Ross describe five phases of loss as denial, anger, bargaining, pity and acceptance.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was in fact ONE person not two. Her famous book “On Death and Dying” is a classic. Her Five Stages of Grief (not loss) include Depression as the fourth stage not Pity. How you can turn this into a business principle is beyond me. How you lift her words and change her name is called plagiarism.

  7. Interesting vision about business and mojo :)

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