Small Business Thrives on Old Fashioned Values

Outside my window a guy is hacking away at a stump with all manner of hand and electric powered tools. He’s been at it for over two hours. At times he seems… well, stumped. But he continues to do the job. He’ll do it until it’s done because he’s a professional stump remover. It’s what he does. He’s not alone. Small businesses everywhere are continuing on despite the gloomy outlook. It’s what they do.

A Beverly Hills company is proof that old fashioned values will help small businesses through these tough economic times. Divine Imaging Inc. is a small, woman-owned GSA/DoD government contractor who is thriving supplying the government with everything from IT equipment and office supplies to body armor and paper products.

The 14 hardworking people of Divine credit “old fashioned” American business practices: honesty, hard work, showing up early, staying late and working weekends with their success.

Divine Imaging, Inc. founder and President, Kimberly Devane states the company philosophy:

“We believe that lasting success is built upon some very simple practices: We work hard and smart, we put in long hours, we stay out of debt, and we manage our expenses as though every dollar counts — because it does! “

CEO Larry Abbot echoes Divine’s values:

“Our business plan certainly includes innovation and improvements to our IT systems and our data-base management, but our success has more to do with our mindset and attitude. Small businesses like ours do not need to be bailed out. We ARE the bailout. We will drive and rebuild the economy by using the same “old fashioned” business practices that our forefathers used to build this great country — no shortcuts, no accounting tricks … just hard work, decency and sound business practices.”

What would our financial markets look like if more bankers shared this attitude?

And when did hard work become old fashioned?

Image Credit: Divine Imaging, Inc.

  • Selling = income! One of the best forms of “old fashioned” hard work we can implement in this market is knocking on doors. Whether it be door to door or on the phone, a steady stream of new contacts is indispensable.

    I admire the business practices of Divine Imagine as they remind me of Vince Lombardi preaching blocking and tackling. In this market everything and EVERYBODY must sell. Technology will never take the place of human interaction.

    See the people!!

  • Drea

    Stump remover sounds like an incredibly frustrating job. I laud the guy for doing it for a living. You bring up a good point–we’re going to HAVE to go back to “old-fashioned” values to keep chugging forwards. So many shortcuts have been discredited that the grindstone (or crime?) looks like the only legitimate remaining way of doing things.

  • I was just talking with some friends last night about how small businesses are going to become savers again.

    Watch, this recession and economic uncertainty will teach us Small Business owners the value of money in the bank and not on a card or a loan. I agree with Glenn’s comment that people have to buy, but only if they HAVE the money. Our credit “house of cards” has crumbled and we have to rebuild it with cards that actually exist in the first place. How? Through honesty, hard work, showing up early, staying late and working weekends!

    Great article Lela!

    Jared Lyda

  • Excellent article.

    Also, small businesses should use the downturn to get lean, flexible and competitive.

    They can access free resources from “The Great American Small Business Challenge,” a new, non-profit organization that partners with SBA funded Small Business Development Centers.

    Small Businesses can access free online software, training and support at:

  • Hi,

    Adopting the old values into new business will yield more results. Your equation of sales into income is acceptable.
    Likewise free online classes are offered for new businessmen at Visit for more benefits dear new businessmen/women.

  • It’s important to keep old fashion values in mind the there are many new trends in business and need to be put into place as well. There are always new laws and regulations but business still goes on through bad and good times.


  • It’s nice to see their emphasis on staying out of debt and carefully managing their expenses. Strong fiscal management is the key to staying ahead during these down times and it looks like they’re doing a great job of it.

    Combine that with their hard work and enthusiasm and this company should go far.