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Small Business Digest


Now May Be The Time To Expand Says Small Business Leader

At a time when many smaller businesses are pulling in their horns and reducing efforts, others are expanding.

The important thing to remember is to do it smartly and take advantage of the current situation to negotiate better deals for real estate and distribution.

One person who is expanding is Ada Polla, who is growing her skin-care brand, Alchimie Forever.

With a large number of real-estate vacancies, Polla was able to negotiate very favorable terms for a new lease and had a large number of properties to choose from before opening a brand-new showroom in Washington, D.C.

Polla also saw other competition skin-care brands are holding back on growth, she felt it was imperative to use the time to her company’s advantage

Here are some lessons that Polla has learned while growing Alchimie Forever:

Don't take no for an answer; “No” just means “Not right now.” For example, for four years, Polla had been in process of wooing an exclusive distribution contract with a noted beauty distributor. “Initially, they rejected our brand, feeling we were not the correct fit for their business,” she said. She “continued to stay in close touch with the executives there and keep them updated as our brand developed. Eventually, after a three-year period of ‘courting’ them, we were invited to have another meeting to be considered for their company.” The meeting was a success, and Polla finally signed a contract last year.

Have a to-do list. Have a stop-doing list. As she learned from others, stopping to do certain things can be as valuable as doing certain things. Specifically, Polla has been pursuing potential accounts that would not yield a significant increase in revenue. While for a small business any revenue is great revenue, for a CEO who is managing all aspects of the business, focusing on tasks that have a high-yield potential (and thus not  focusing on tasks that have a low-yield potential) is invaluable.

Polla can be reached at

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