If you look at the stock market, you would wonder why we are still officially in a recession and you might be right. American investment markets have seen steady growth for more than a year and as of the beginning of 2012, they’ve continued their climb. A healthy stock market becomes a front page story in newspapers and websites raising consumer confidence.
Investors and entrepreneurs know that the stock market doesn’t do a good job of measuring the health of the economy because at any time, the market could head lower. The stock market, like your customers, are fickle. Today’s euphoria isn’t guaranteed tomorrow.
Because of that, anybody planning to start a business in what is still officially a recession has to be aware of current market conditions and make appropriate plans.
Humans are a hopeful bunch. We rarely dream realistically and when you started thinking of your business, you probably put together some very lofty plans. In a recessionary environment, scaling back those plans is often wise. Did you plan to open two stores within a year of eachother? That may not be the best idea. Scale back your profit estimates, scale up your costs, and make adjustments as your business grows.
Entrepreneur Mark Cuban says that the most successful businesses have a laser-like focus on their market. They put all of their energy in to the portion of the market that could benefit most from their product or service. All of their marketing budget is put in to that demographic and they don’t move to another market until that one is maximized.
It’s a lot easier to save money than it is to make money. In an uncertain economic environment, saving money is the best way to keep your business healthy. You don’t need fancy office equipment, expensive signs or one of those cars that has your brand screened on to it. Stay with the basics but remember that you should always aim for value. Purchase what you need to make your business successful but cut back on the wants.
A beginning entrepreneur’s best asset is their work ethic. Work longer and harder than your competitors, provide a better product or service, and be passionate about your business. Sometimes it’s best to forget about the challenges and get to work. There’s no substitute for a hard worker and the best part is that you don’t have to be a small business expert to practice this skill.
It may still be a recession in 2012 but things are starting to look better. It’s a great time to start a business so don’t wait. Get your business plan in place and open the doors to your new business.