7 Reasons Small Businesses Survive Downturns

Not really a great time in the economy at the moment is it? I beg to differ. Big businesses that people thought were solid turned out to be pretty weak at the foundations. I think what we need in these times, is more small business. Small business is (in my opinion) the basis for a strong economy. These are the companies that have the ability to survive. The big companies were good in the good times, but they had piles of corporate debt, demotivated employees who were worried about losing their job, but small businesses aren’t like that. Here’s why:


Remember when you first started your business? Remember all those times when you worked out of the basement and really had no money so you just did the best you could? Well, you’ve been there once, you’ll do it again. Maybe you’re still bootstrapping though, not because you need to, because you WANT to.


Small business owners at some of the most creative people around. What happened last time you had a problem? You had a good long think about it, you looked at possible solutions and you thought some more. Then it hit you. You solved the problem and moved on. What would a big company have done? Probably spent one million on a consultant, and a few months on reached the same conclusion. You’ve done it since the start of your business and you’ll keep coming up with new and original ideas.


There is a reason you get up early everyday and work ridiculously late into the night. The reason? you’re passionate! You love doing what you do, and that means that your work is the best it could be and your clients are happy (usually). You’d do anything to keep your business alive and growing.


During you business’ lifetime, you have been careful. Where’s the work for client X? It’s in a folder on your desk. You don’t loose your client’s work, you know where everything is and what is happening at any point during the day. You didn’t take stupid risks with your money, and people can see that. you didn’t pile up debt.  Your clients trust you. You’re careful in every way possible. If you’re not, it isn’t just you at risk, it is your clients, and that matters to you (well it should matter).

You know your industry and business

If someone asks you to get you product X, you can do it, if someone asks you to design logo B, it’s done, if someone needs help setting up Y, you’re there. People in your industry (however big or small it is) know you can be trusted to do the right thing. You know the ins and outs of the industry and you also know how your business fits into it. Are you at the forefront? Maybe you are the company making things work at the back end? For any type of business, from eBay power seller to the next Silicon Valley start up, the industry and you relationship is crucial.

You know your clients

and they know you! The client-business relationship is crucial whatever business you’re in. If you are in a service business, then you need people to pay bills on time and to trust you and your judgment. If you sell products from your online store, then you need to know you can count on return visits and word of mouth. Your clients are your business and you have good clients.

You know your next step

Within a big business, knowing where you are going is hard. However, for the small company, you know where you want your business to go. You know which markets you want to penetrate, which products you want to sell, how many newsletter subscribers you need. With a clear plan, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

So there you go! 7 reasons why you and your small business are perfectly poised to whether any kind of economics condition. Also, you are less likely to have copy cats/opposition in these conditions, so you can really stand out from the crowd. You might also want to check out this post by The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur about why now is the best time to start a business. What do you think?


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One Response to 7 Reasons Small Businesses Survive Downturns

  1. College Town Menus (CTM) May 19, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    From experience, no matter how passionate you are with your idea/business, there will definately be times where you either get burnt out, severly stressed and scared, maybe mad, and various other emotions. Your family, friends, and everyone will give you the cold cut truth – whether they like it or not. You can only take so much bad input from people. It will get to the point where you dont want to listen to them anymore and wont go to them for input. DONT DO IT. Keep going back, keep getting the harsh comments. It will drive you nuts, but it will drive you to fix the problems associated with your model and challenge you more than your “easier friends” that will support anything you do. These may be the hardest comments to stomach, but often are some of the best.

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