Mark, I like how you presented your article with not only ways to survive the current downturn but also how to make your business thrive in it. I am all for it. Great Article! Tricia Enyart
What does it mean to recession proof your business?
I hear this all the time, "You need to recession proof your business to survive!" What exactly are they talking about? Is this for me the small business owner?
It's everywhere! Everything from auto sales, the market and our 401k's are looking very weak. This is definately a recession if I have ever seen one. Now what do we do about it. I hear the phrase "Recession proof your business to survive!" But what does that mean for the small business owner? First off, get your personal affairs in order and then get your business in order is my advise. If you don't have things together with your personal finances it is going to be even more difficult to get your business finances together.
If you need to get a loan modification for your mortgage or renegotiate that credit card debt then get it done, because if you have any distractions in running your business on a daily basis these economic times are not when you want them. You need to have a 100% focus on making through these tough economic times and come out even stronger and leaner than before!
So now what does this mean when it comes to the small business owner? First off, do not be caught off guard. Recognize the signs that a slow down may be affecting your sales. Stay in touch with your customer base and keep your hand on the pulse of your sales to know exactly where you are at compared to last week, last month and last year. Assume that the aberations are real and make those changes based on declines of 10, 20 or 30%. You do not want to be a reactor to the numbers you want to be proactive in your approach.
Identify the excess costs, the non profitable activities and customers and trim the fat now. Talk to your sales people see what changes need to be made now. Even better if your a one man or 5 employee's or less operation. You should be on top of every aspect of your business. Tallk to your customers, your suppliers, your advertising sources and get your plan together. If there was ever a time to get rid of that customer that costs more than he is worth now is it. If you ever thought that the ad you are placing in the weekly newspaper is a little overpriced now is the time to ask for that 20% loyalty discount. Believe me everyone is making concessions. Now is the time to ask. Negotiate from a position of power not weakness, if they smell blood they will never let you off the hook. If they see you as a shrewd business person making the necessary changes to survive and prosper in this market they are more likely to listen and even agree with your proposal.
Remember also, although customers may be spending less, there is now less competition out there than before. Instead of 100 companies chasing your customer base there now may be 70. So even with the cutbacks you can not only survive but increase your sales. Some of the best and biggest companies thrived in recessions. You can come out mean and lean and ready for the nextg upturn that will truly make you a powerhouse company in just a few short years. Remember that when one door closes another one opens and this is an opportunity that most will not recognize and even fewer will take advantage of.
Look to capitalize on companies that have gone under. Get the best customers, ideas and laid off employees. Set your stratagies in motion and be the one standing when the smoke clears closer to the top than ever before. I specialize in both business expansion and debt management principles and I enjoy working with clients that are making it much more than those that are on the verge of bankruptcy.
The biggest problem facing the small business owner today is the unwillingness to act. To many people are afraid to make the necessary decisions to make their business a success. You must capitalize on the current situations benefits and they do not stand around waiting for you trust me. Get mad, Get even, or Get ahead, its up to you people. Good luck to all of you.
Learn more about the author, Mark Silver, mba/msib.
Comment on this article
Posted by Tricia Enyart, Clinton Twp., Michigan |
Apr 18, 2009
Posted by Kate Phillips, Seattle, Washington |
Apr 20, 2009
Thanks for some good tips. I like the tip to ask for "loyalty" discounts from advertisers!
Also agree that we've got to do what we can to keep personal costs down, as business owners. There has never been a better time to negotiate with creditors or lenders than now. They would rather accept lower payments than have you default into bankruptcy or foreclosure.
(I coach people on negotiation techniques if you are looking to lower your bills ASAP.)
Posted by Jim Delano, Las Vegas / Miami, Nevada |
Apr 22, 2009
Great points! I have seen some downside in the entertainment business myself and have picked up a few customers from competition that has folded. Also had a chance to see your website and was very impressed! Look for a call from me about doing some business in Cuba and South Beach. Thanks for all the insight! Jim Delano
- business management
- recession ideas
- small business owner