Heidi Thorne uses two Small Town Rules

As we celebrate the one year anniversary of Small Town Rules and winning a 2013 Small Business Book Award, we’ve asked a few friends to share the rules that are a part of their business every day. Today, Heidi Thorne shares two examples from her business:

Portrait of Heidi Thorne“The most important Small Town Rules for me have been Rule #1 (Plan for Zero) and Rule #3 (Multiply lines of income to diversify risk).

“Rule #1: (Plan for Zero) I represented a publisher for trade newspaper advertising. Had been doing it for over 15 years. The money was pretty good and because it was 100 percent commission, I squirreled away a chunk of liquid cash in case the revenue well dried up or I decided to walk away from that business relationship. Good thing I did because within a short six months, both publisher owners passed away and not too many months later, the remaining family members folded the operation. I was planning for zero even though I didn’t call it that. But it’s a small town or big town rule that kept my doors open in the face of some tragic events.

“Rule #3: (Multiply lines of income to diversify risk) Because my business was heavily dependent on the construction industry, sales were becoming more challenging from 2009 onward. In 2011, I began exploring how I could supplement my business with other income streams. Still working on this… all the time. It does take quite a bit of resources and energy! But it’s an effort that is, just now, starting to see some small gains and is completely transforming my business into a multimedia organization. I now have about four income streams and am on the lookout for even more. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner! This must be a part of every entrepreneur’s strategic plan.

“Again, congratulations to you on this 1st Anniversary of your book. It’s an important must-read for business owners.”

Heidi Thorne, Editor & Founder


When Heidi reviewed Small Town Rules, she said one of my favorite quotes about it:

“Amid the gaggle of rah-rah follow-your-passion-the-money-will-magically-and-regularly-appear business books, this is a much needed reality check.”