As you look ahead at where the economy is going are you optimistic or pessimistic?
Many small business owners are optimistic - Even small businesses that have seen business decline lately can retain their optimism. Robert Maffei, who owns Maffei Landscape Contractors in Mashpee, Mass., on Cape Cod, is upbeat even though the continuing drop in home building has reduced demand for his company's services. He sees downtime as a time for building relationships with customers that will pay off when business improves.
"If we're taking care of our customers, there's an opportunity in this," Maffei said, noting that by giving excellent customer service — returning phone calls promptly and doing a job well — his company can win business away from competitors.