When the economy takes a downturn, people tend to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst. This is not unwise. After all, if you are prepared to weather the storm, then you can come out on the other side ready to enjoy the pleasures and profits of the newly emerged, “sunny” economy. However, this is only the ideal conclusion, and the sad truth is that most people who hit the cellar for the tumultuous weather end up drowning their business in the process.
In truth, a “slow” economy can be the best time to grow your business. You have probably heard people on the radio and news networks discussing how they “refuse to participate in the recession.” Surprisingly enough, for many of them this appears to be working. On the other hand, you may be thinking, the people for whom this strategy is not working probably are not on television! And you are right. There are some businesses that are ideally suited to growth in these uncertain times, while others are not. You need to determine if the times are right for you before you invest in growth in your business.
Here are some things to consider:
· Is your product or service evergreen?
This means that people always need your service. Preferably, it is something that they cannot do without (or that they believe that they cannot do without). This includes basic home maintenance services like plumbing and roof repair, as well as many food items and basic forms of entertainment.
· Have other business’ troubles created an opening for you?
When people start cutting back on eating out, fast food chains prosper. This is because you can feed an entire family at Wendy’s for the cost of one entrée at a mid-range restaurant. Similarly, when the housing market sinks, people start investing in making their own homes better. This is why many painting and home remodeling businesses are thriving even though contractors and builders are suffering. If your business is in this type of niche, then now might be the time to expand.
· Do you have the means?
Success in business sometimes requires taking risks. It also can involve financial outlay. However, you need hard research to back up any loans or other extensions that you make. Do not simply start spending because you feel that the time is right. Evaluate every expense carefully and do not spend a penny where you do not see on paper that it should generate returns.
For many people, now is the time to act. Competitors are going under, and there are vast holes opening up in many areas of business. Just be sure that you are involved in the right arena before you start building and growing.
And remember, market creatively, carefully and often!