In tough economic times, it is only natural that business owners become frightened. Millions are faced with the reality of less money coming in, which means less money to spend. We have seen the affects of that over the past year as countless small businesses have closed their doors due to poor sales numbers. Who wouldn’t be frightened when observing this day in and day out for months on end?
This is the time for business owners, especially those on the web, to take a moment – a deep breath – and think very clearly. Why? Because it is possible for your business to actually experience a time of growth during times of recession if you play your cards right. While it can cause uneasy feelings to continue spending when profits are down, a 2003 study proved that doing so can lead a company through a recession and give them a hefty advantage on the competition long after the recession has ended.
The way to move full steam ahead is to not jump on the bandwagon of trimming fat and slashing prices to non-profitable levels. Downturned economic times are when you should focus on your company’s core competitive strengths, foster relationships with customers, and improve the effectiveness of your management team (or management skills of the one manager you have). Additionally, this is the time to hold prices at profitable levels.
One step to take is to closely monitor your competitors. See, these are times when many of those you are up against will take drastic measures: decreasing or completing ending marketing campaigns and investing, cutting necessary staff and adding to the work load of those team members still standing, putting off necessary research and product development plans. These are just a few of the ways companies are scaling back, but all are to their detriment. While cuts are a necessary part of surviving a recession, you can come out on top by giving serious consideration to where cuts can be made, and also where you may be able to continue spending.
It is important to understand that continued spending in a time where we seem to live in economic purgatory may cut into your personal pocketbook. This is the risk that is taken on when one decides to go into business; and one that can be handled gingerly throughout hard times, leading to long term growth and profitability.
When times are tough, you as a business owner can take advantage of lowered advertising prices or lower prices from your suppliers. There are several ways in which you can maintain revenues and keep your business afloat if you consistently seek them. Another aspect of taking advantage of the economic climate is in the talent pool. There are so many people in the job market right now with stellar qualifications, making this a time to snatch up a few people to add to your organization is a great idea. With few jobs to choose from and competition so high, you have the opportunity to add highly skilled and qualified team members to your staff that you may not have been able to get before.
Growth is possible even in times when people are tightening their purse strings. Look through your organization to find how you can improve client relations, build up staff morale, and continue to press onward and upward.