believes that small businesses should keep trying to grow even though
the economy is slowing. She says this is exactly what has happened in
In previous recessions, one of the things I’d observe is
that many small businesses actually can grow by taking advantage of
opportunities, such as weakened competition and big company cutbacks.
Small business owners’ attitudes seem to back this up. A new survey
from Intuit, which she cites in her column, finds that growth is on the
mind of most entrepreneurs. From the Intuit survey:
In a considerable showing of solidarity, nine out of 10
U.S. small business owners reported seeing opportunities for their
businesses in the current recession, and more than 75 percent expect
growth. To make this growth a reality, small business owners say
they’ll rely on their experience and passion; nearly two-thirds have
survived previous downturns. And to recession-proof their businesses,
respondents plan to put their customers first, with 63 percent naming
customer retention as their top priority, followed by focusing on their
Abrams offers several ideas to help small businesses grow during the current downturn. You can see them here.
I add to her suggestions my recipe for success in the face of bad economic times — strengthen your cash flow.
- Reduce debt
- Bootstrap more than ever with a focus on becoming more efficient
and productive — squeeze more out of your current staff, equipment and
space before investing in adding more resources
- Focus all of your marketing on growing high margin transactions
and the most profitable parts of your business — your focus should be
on growing the bottom line, not on growing sales.