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How to successfully manage your small business through tough times

Old Wood: Pivoting is a way to overcome adversity

David Old grew up cattle ranching in New Mexico. When he took over the family ranch in 1978, he decided to shift from livestock to logs, harvesting trees in his own backyard. When asked to produce some flooring for a prominent national radio personality, the family pooled all their savings to buy equipment to make floorboards. That led to the creation of Old Wood, a small business milling traditional flooring, cutting logs along their length. Then, disaster struck when a forest fire devastated the ranch. David thought the fire would bankrupt him. "There were a lot of days when I just stood out in the woods alone and cried," Old says. Then one day, he was fooling around with a burned log and a saw. Just for the heck of it, he started cutting slices off the end. He wondered: what would happen if you made tile floors from salvaged end cuts like this? That idea turned adversity into assets: Working with his son, Shiloh, Old has grown his annual revenue from $300,000 to $1.2 million, a four-fold increase with even more growth on the horizon. The hard work has given the Old family a beautiful $1 million adobe home in the New Mexico hills and the freedom to enjoy outdoor pursuits like hiking, skiing, dirt biking and flying. The Old family's story shows that disaster doesn't have to devastate a business. Consider partnering with a local independent agent and The Cincinnati Insurance Company to create a plan, including the right insurance program, so your business can stay protected.

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