about it, the current economic recession has hurt small businesses as well as
the people they employ.
the reduction in consumer spending, dried up credit, ongoing debt and continued
uncertainty about the timing of a bounce back – small business survival stories
are appearing in the media and bringing with them hope and optimism.
The New York
Times has been tracking five small businesses over the past year and reporting
on the highs and lows of coping with the recession. In the latest update – Small-Business Owners Are Coping, and Feeling Grateful for the
Bright Spots – the Times finds small business owners are
struggling but coping – hanging on for an uptick. And a few report a flicker of
optimism as they deliberately and unexpectedly find and capitalize on new
markets for old products.
New and more
efficient business models are emerging – a direct result of challenging economic times.
customer service to marketing; from creative uses of technology to tighter
financial controls – small businesses are fighting back with a toolbox of
resources that challenges conventional business models, introduces greater
efficiencies, and opens doors to new opportunities.
just some insights and tips (drawn from across the Business.gov
Community of experts and small business owners) of how
small business is doing it:
Make Marketing Work for Your Small Business
in a Recession
article – 7 Marketing Tactics That Work in a Recession – small business expert Rieva Lesonsky observes that “two-thirds
of respondents to a recent survey by online marketing company Performics say
the recession ‘has fundamentally changed the way they think about saving and
spending money'”. So how do you market your products and services in this type
of climate? Read Rieva’s article for seven tips that can help small businesses
capture precious consumer dollars now.
Nurture Existing Customers While Seeking New
business owners often retreat from new marketing initiatives during tough times
– choosing to manage as many costs within their control as they can, at least
for the short term. But halting your marketing efforts during an economic
recession only affords your competition the opportunity to pull ahead and make
inroads into your current and potential markets.
– Customer Retention and Acquisition: Tips for Recessionary Times – highlights two simple, yet effective, strategies you can employ
now to retain the loyalty of your customers as well as seek out new
opportunities in new markets with market planning tools (freely available from
significant market opportunity for many small businesses continues to be the
U.S. government. As the largest purchaser of products and services in the
world, the U.S. government continues to be a growth sector, and it’s not all
about technology and defense systems. The following articles provide guidance
and tips on how small business can learn more about the wealth of opportunities
for small business in federal, state and local government contracting and
- Doing Business with the Federal Government: Tips for Securing Your Share During Changing Times
- Selling to the Government: Five Tips for Becoming a Subcontractor and Getting Your Foot in the Door
- Successful Government Marketing – A Primer for Small Business
- Doing Business with the Department of Defense (DoD) – A Small Business Checklist
Finding Work in Your Own Back Yard: Doing Business with State and
Using Technology to Take Advantage of the
When the recovery happens, you want to be ready to jump on
opportunities. If the recession’s been tough on your business, consider
the recovery a time for a reboot. With that in mind, small business
expert Anita Campbell recommends three tools – including CRM, email marketing
software, and Website analytics – that can help your small business sell more
and do so profitably, as the recovery takes hold. Read more here: 3 Technologies to Help You Take Advantage of the Economic Recovery.
provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the government
has been sending out lifelines to small business struggling to manage business
These initiatives, administered by the Small Business Administration
(SBA) – including the ARC Loan Program and modifications to the SBA 504 Loan
Program – are genuine options that small business owners struggling with debt
should be aware of. Read more here: Managing Small Business Debt – Government Loans and Refinancing Lifelines.
For more comprehensive information on these programs refer to the SBA’s Recovery Act Portal.