Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a Recession Means for Your Business

I know many small business owners are feeling the effects of the recession. Business is most likely slow or perhaps even non-existent. It’s difficult, but I want to congratulate you for doing what it takes to own your own business in the first place and for taking the risk of capturing your piece of the American Dream. Here are a few ways the recession may be affecting your business and some measures you can take right now to help keep your business afloat.

Maybe your sales are down, and once that happens, then it doesn’t take long for profits follow. Well, one way to stay afloat is to lower your profits in an attempt to achieve higher sales figures. The other way would be to spend more on marketing and advertising while keeping your profit margins. Yes, your profit figures will lower, however, you would be increasing your presence in the market which could make you the first to reap the benefits as soon as the economy emerges from the recession.

So just because you need to cut expenses, cutting marketing would be the worst idea. Have you tried marketing within social media websites? Many sites that allow you to post status updates such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Myspace are free way to advertise! Create a Fan Page for your business within Facebook and let people know what you do. You only need to spend a few minutes a day updating your status, inviting people to “fan” you or perhaps offer a coupon for followers. Go to business chamber events or other networking events to find more people to “follow” you. By meeting people and gaining their friendship and trust, they will know who to call when someone is looking for your type of business.

Your monthly expenses are probably increasing when a recession accompanies high inflation. This could eat into your savings and you may start to face financial problems.
Avoid unnecessary expenses and attend only to those expenses related to your business, evaluating them on a priority basis.

More business advice, some adapted from Business Recession: What a Recession Means for Your Small Business, an article on

Learn to rotate your inventory faster so your profits can increase instead of maintaining a large inventory. Use the latest technology available to keep track of your inventory. Dispose of all your slow moving products through “fire sales” if necessary. A fire sale is the sale of goods at extremely discounted prices, typically when the seller faces bankruptcy or other impending distress.

Get familiar with “Just in Time” methods to maintain your stock and delivery schedules. And last, but not least, don’t make the mistake of assuming demand for everything in a recession goes down. Maybe you have to switch a product out for one this is selling now.

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