How a Small Business Can Flourish in a Recession

By: Peter George
You've probably heard or read some of the nerve-wracking headlines that have been leading the financial news. The gloom and doom includes "Caterpillar, Inc. Joins Other Large Corps Warning of Recession." "Broad Profit Woes Spark Stock Plunge On Recession Fears." "Shares Tumble as Fears of Recession Cap Gloomy Week." "CEOs, Wall Street Warn of Recession." If these were warnings about an impending blizzard, milk and bread would be flying off the shelves.

Is a recession indeed on its way? If so, will it be a mild one as some are predicting, or will it be a doozie as others suggest? In either case, how will it affect your business? When it comes to answering that last question, you have more say than you may think.

Time to get a bigger boat

Referring to the metaphor about a rising tide lifting all boats, a recession generally lowers all boats. But that doesn't mean that your business is going to sink. In fact, a recession can prove to be an excellent time to work on getting a bigger boat.

Many businesses decide to cease most or all of its marketing activities when times get tough. However, you may discover that, as your competition reins in its marketing, you have the opportunity to take a greater share of your target market. Then, when the economy rebounds and the tide rises, you and your competitors all rise. The difference is that you have a bigger boat than you did before, i.e. a greater market share.

Profitability is more important than ever

Profitability should always be a concern. But when a recession hits, you have to be extremely aware of your profit margins. When they are too low, you find yourself struggling to a greater degree. But when they are at a healthy level -- even with lower revenue -- you have the means to promote your company in an effective manner. Your competition, however, is forced to market less ... wondering how you continue to push forward.

Start low-cost, high-return marketing now

There are a number of marketing tactics that cost little more than time, so they are perfect for businesses to employ during the good times and the slow ones ... as long they meet two criteria -- one is that they fit your overall strategy, and the other is that you can implement them consistently.

Several of these tactics are web-based, such as beginning a blog, consistently adding to your current one, and keeping your site fresh by frequently posting news. Another opportunity is adding an autoresponder to your site. Then give visitors something of value in exchange for their names and e-mail addresses. When your visitors submit their information, the autoresponder goes to work behind the scenes, periodically sending valuable information to your visitors. The idea is that the visitors who sign up have identified themselves as prospects. By staying top-of-mind and showing that you offer them value, these prospects are going to contact you when they have the need that you can fill.

Yes, if the pundits are correct, there is going to be a recession. But, by managing the effect a recession has on your business, as opposed to just reacting to it, you give yourself the opportunity to not only survive a recession, but thrive during and after it.

Money Management
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Money Management
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles