Recession-Proof Your Small Business in 2008

How safe is your business if the U.S. experiences a recession this year? Will it do well, continuing along its productivity and growth projectory with little more than a slight re-focusing and tightening of the belt? Or will it dissolve into ruin, going belly-up as consumers hunker down by reducing spending?

On Tuesday, January 8, 2008, President Bush gave his State of the Union address to Congress, televised for all to see. In it, he stated:

"Our first goal is clear: We must have an economy that grows fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a job. After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals and stock market declines, our economy is recovering — yet it's not growing fast enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment rising, our nation needs more small businesses to open, more companies to invest and expand, more employers to put up the sign that says, 'Help Wanted'."

Some small business owners listening to the broadcast buried their heads in the sand, thinking a recession isn't going to occur. Some mistakenly believe that the U.S. government will take care of them if there is a recession. For others, the cloud of impending gloom has already begun to cast its shadow.

Earlier this week it was reported that the U.S. economy is primed to slump into a three-quarter recession. What will you do? What action will you take to recession-proof your small business this year . . . or any year, for that matter?

What if there were a simple, effective solution to ensure your business productivity and growth, no matter what the economy does? Would you want to learn more? What if I told you there are ways to increase productivity no matter what the economic climate — not just by a little, but by 20 percent? Would you be interested?

Seven Sure-fire Ways to Boost Productivity

1. Be known for delivering great products and services.
Now, more than ever, this oft repeated maxim is true. Your products and services are a reflection of you, are the frontline calling card for your business, and are the number one way to make your customers trip all over themselves referring others to you.

2. Stand out by offering an astonishing guarantee.
Have one so amazing that others in your industry would balk at offering it. Delivering on your astonishing guarantee distinguishes you and gets your business noticed.

3. Add value, not price.
Continuously adding value to your products and services makes you look rich and attractive to your customers and prospects. Adding price without value makes you look cheap.

4. Cultivate business with customers who have similar beliefs and interests.
This eliminates having to work with jerks.

5. Connect to give; don't connect to get.
Cultivate mutually beneficial win-win relationships with emphasis on the "give" part. Ask not what your customer can do for you, but what you can do for your customer. Then deliver.

6. Command time and space this year and create what you see for yourself, not what someone else sees for you.
Meet your own sales goals, provide your own growth incentives, and keep abreast of the markets so you can remain on the cutting edge, rather than waiting for someone else to do these things for you.

7. Forget about last year.
Whether you did well or not, forget about it. Create a new voice. In the words of T. S. Eliot, "Last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice."

What makes these seven steps so special? How will they recession-proof your business? These seven steps focus exclusively on strengthening your business from the inside, at its core. They are not dependent upon outside sources or resources to function or sustain them. They focus on actions you can easily and effectively take now. No long-term planning is required to implement them. They are things that everyone — from solopreneur to company of 20 — can do right now.

Do yourself a favor. Don't stand idly by with a wait-and-see mindset. Recession-proof your business to ensure increased productivity and growth this year. Take these seven steps now. Make 2008 your best year ever. You'll be glad you did!

Successful Small Business Start Up Coach, Consultant, & Author takes the fear out of starting up businesses by providing value, inspiration, and direction to entrepreneurial women transforming lives and making a difference in the world. Accidental Pren-her™ Blog is where entrepreneurial women come to embrace their Inner Samurai.