Don't blame the recession if your family-owned business is in trouble -- blame your performance. That's one of the messages in a Q&A interview with George Cloutier, author of "Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing."
The interview is one of the top stories today on The New York Times' Web site.
Cloutier has some brutal advice: Use fear as a motivational tool. Love your business more than your family. Fire your relatives. Never pay vendors on time.
Here's what he had to say about paying vendors:
We tell our vendors, if you're asking for 15 days, forget it. We're going to pay you in 45 days. You don't want the work? Tell me, and I'll find somebody else. You have to work on stretching your payables because every dollar you get in extended payables is an interest-free loan. You have to spend time, go see them and negotiate. Honor your word. But don't think 30 days is a good deal. It's not.
I wonder what Cloutier would say about being a partner with your vendors and customers.