Can you recession-proof your business?

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 28, 2008

By STACY WALKUP/Guest Columnist

Can you recession-proof your business?

The answer is simple: you can’t.

A recession hits home for everyone and everyone feels the impact but the ones who takes precautions are more likely to survive.

Here are some steps and suggestions that may help:

-Work harder: I know business owners already do “overtime” but now is the time to really dig in to make your business successful and to survive these tough times.

-Avoid debt: Be less likely to borrow or access new credit during these tough times.

Try to invest and pay down credit.

Also make sure you are managing your cash flow well, it is something you should be doing all the time anyway but is very critical during a recessionary environment.

-Focus on your accounts receivable: If someone owes you a lot of money and they go under it could have a huge impact on your cash flow.

-Start thinking now: Start planning about how a recession will impact your customers.

Like in the home building business you know these guys will not be demanding as much product, so get ready for it.

Stay focused on your core business.

-Be competitive with your prices: Talk to your customers about their potential needs and how they might respond when things slow down.

If a customer brings up competitors pricing don’t be afraid to research to see if you can’t offer a special or match the price to fit the customer’s budget without losing out yourself.

-Seek partnerships: Ramp up your marketing; improve your work processes, if your budget allows take advantage of spending some extra money now when the market is tight to build your customer base.

During tough times remember to always have a positive attitude and do the right thing, because after the storm will come clear skies and those spectacular business days will once again return.

Stacy Walkup is the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce director. You can reach her at 669-9075, or by e-mail at