Don’t let the forecast slow your business down

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With the gloomy economy threatening to stretch into 2009, business owners are shifting gears.   Decisions are being put on hold, spending reduced, hiring frozen.  But, what if you are in the midst of starting your own business?  If you’ve moved beyond the dreaming and the planning stages, you may not want to restrain that momentum.   Luckily, achieving success in a slow economy is possible if you remain attuned to the unique dynamics of the market and adjust your plans accordingly.  Finding additional funding as well as ways to reduce spending in non-essential areas will help you succeed.

The first thing you should do is revisit your business plan.  Make sure your financial projections are realistic considering the stringent credit market and increased competition for venture capital.  It’s best to assume you are going to need more money than you previously thought, because customers may take longer to attract.  Experts estimate you will need 2-3 times the amount of money to fund your start-up in this economy.   All avenues should be pursued in depth including equity, debt and government financing.

Certain long term goals may need to be modified into short term solutions that keep overhead costs down.   Consider using freelancers instead of hiring full time employees.   Allow yourself flexibility for the future by not locking yourself into long term contracts.  The Suites Collection has shared furnished offices that can accommodate your needs for dedicated or flexible space.  Included services such as internet connections, telephones, faxes and copiers mean you won’t have to outlay cash for equipment or enter into service agreements with support technicians. 

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Strengthening professional relationships will bring significant benefits at this time and won’t cost a dime.   Touch base with your peers and customers to find out how they are doing and listen to their experiences.   This social initiation demonstrates confidence and signifies your potential.  Instead of hiring a business consultant, reach out to a mentor or an experienced professional in your field.  This is a way to get a little free advice or maybe to learn from another’s mistakes.  SCORE offers free career counseling for start ups and small businesses from experienced entrepreneurs and seasoned executives. 

Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.  It’s good to practice patience and optimism and trust that eventual success is in your hands.

“Over the years, the U.S. economy has shown a remarkable ability to absorb shocks of all kinds, to recover and to continue to grow. Flexible and efficient markets for labor and capital, an entrepreneurial tradition and a general willingness to tolerate and even embrace technological and economic change all contribute to this resiliency.”

  • – Ben Bernanke, US Federal Reserve Chairman
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