RIDING IT OUT: Proactive small businesses can lead the pack in a recovery


 HAVE WE FORGOTTEN how to manage our businesses for growth? Economic downturn, Recession, Bottomed-out, Double-Dip. No matter where we are in the economic cycle, we should be proactive, not reactive, by planning and positioning ourselves for an economic recovery before it happens. Many great businesses that are prepared for the upturn, will ride the leading edge of the wave of recovery, and be well positioned to claim an even stronger market position than before the recession.

Recessions challenge businesses of all sizes, but it also helps to create a level playing field between them. As small businesses, we have a strong advantage over large businesses, not only to weather-out the recession, but to react quicker than large businesses, and take advantage of a recovery. As small businesses, we can take advantage of the opportunities in a recovery quicker and more effectively than large companies, because of our flatter organization structure, and ability to make and execute decisions faster.

The recession provides an opportunity to lay a strong foundation for the eventual economic recovery. This includes; focusing on priorities, becoming more efficient and effective, building value with your existing customers to help retain their loyalty and increase your market share with them.

When preparing for a recovery we need to be careful not to choke ourselves by being too hesitant to hire and grow the business. Hesitating is understandable. We have learned some tough lessons in the recession, especially the most painful lesson, of letting people go. Maybe the plan is just a simple strategy and action plan for what programs to prioritize and rollout when the signs of a recovery begin to appear. The key is to strike a balance between being cautious and being opportunistic.

Anticipating and planning for an economic recovery will go a long way to leveling the playing field with your larger company competitors.