Finding opportunities in the current economy is a challenge for most small business owners, but trust me, the opportunities are there.  Identifying circumstances that allow your business to grow in down times requires creativity and strategy, but puts you far ahead of your competition as the economy rebounds.

When I deal with clients, I find them worried about the insecurity created by the economic struggles of recent years. Really, though, it is “the best of times” AND “the worst of times.”  I’m not minimizing the very real challenges that many of us face, and it is only right to discuss frankly the real problems that confront and surround us. We cannot move forward in an economy or market that we do not understand.  Still, the opportunity for growth exists right alongside those challenges.

Yes, it is also “the best of times.” If your business is well-managed, you can more easily spot the opportunity that is sometimes hidden by “the worst of times”. Such economic struggles are not yours alone – your competitors are up against it too, and their failure to properly manage their business and weather the storm, so to speak, unveils opportunities for you.

When competitors fail, this presents opportunity you cannot (and should not) resist.  Offer to buy the failing competitor’s customer list.  By expertly communicating with and nurturing this new list of prospects that you know will now be looking for a new provider, you can leap frog the competition by acquiring more market share.  Later, when times are better, you will be operating at a higher level that the remaining competition and the start-ups.

Of course, the key assumption here is that your business is well managed and that you have planned for such opportunities. It’s my professional mission to put you on this path and keep you there.


By Steven Schlagel