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5 Ways to Help Your Small Business Survive in a Tough Economy

January 30, 2013

Despite some reports that the small business outlook is optimistic, the data says otherwise and the impact of small business on the recovering economy continues to dwindle.

According to a report, the foothold that small businesses had leading up to the 2008 start of the recession has been slowly decreasing. As hiring has decreased in this sector the US has seen a net loss of 400,000 small businesses between 2007 and 2010.

Small businesses can still weather the storm, regardless of the continued slow down, as long as they are diligent and continue to work hard. A recent Small Business Computing article captured 5 great tips for success during this time:

1. Don’t Slow Down

Slow periods in business are the perfect time to take a look at your current plans and continue to tweak them – look at your budgets, where you can cut costs, strengthen your current client relationships and find new business.

2. Avoid Risky Business Moves

Risk is a big factor in most any small business, but it doesn’t mean you need to take any unnecessary risks in the shaky economic environment. While you’re analyzing your current business outlook it may also be a opportune time to relax and play it safe, until the landscape improves.

Many small businesses are managing risk and keeping their companies afloat by taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to any big strategic shifts in their operations. According to Hiscox’s 2012 survey, 55% of small business owners believe we’re culturally inclined to take risks. But, that doesn’t mean you have to take any more risks than necessary to grow your business.

3. Cut Costs Judiciously

Now is also the time to analyze costs and see where you can minimize.

According to a Hartford survey, 68% percent of those surveyed said that they took less money out of their businesses while 57% slowed their expansion plans by limiting their investments. Fifty-two percent cut owner or partner compensation and 50% hired fewer employees.

Explore all avenues for sensible cost cutting before making changes that may have a detrimental impact on the goods and services you offer.

4. Procure Peace of Mind

You need to create a disaster preparedness plan for your business and stick to it. This includes having small business insurance to addresses your needs and is tailored to your business.

Hurricane Sandy underscores the importance of not only having insurance but having the right kinds of insurance.

Look for business-owner policies that include business interruption that could be the result of a natural disaster.. If you’re expanding geographically, make sure that your insurance provider can update your policy to account for regulations that differ from region to region.

5. Ultimately, Follow Your Passions

Following your passions is imperative to the success of any small business. When you’re in corporate America and you’re not satisfied, you leave that world to follow something you want to do, so make sure you hold on to that feeling. Success is not often defined for small business owners just by their bank balance, but also by their ability to follow their dreams and pursue what makes them the most happy.