As a business owner and a consumer, I'm thrilled! Of course, there are many long, tough months ahead as we hopefully dig ourselves back out of this hole, but at least there is some hope.
Now is the time to focus on how you can take advantage of the slow economy for both yourself and your business. Even if you only have a tiny financial cushion left after the last 12 tight months, now is the time to use it! Here are some options to consider:
1. Services are cheaper - although it's not universal, most service providers are more flexible with their rates - and may have even dropped their rates. Just like all businesses, service providers are anxious to do some great work for you to help boost their bottom line, and you can probably get lower rates and shorter terms
2. Labor is available and cheaper - the labor market is hungry for work, and many stellar employees have been laid off. Now is a great time to fill critical positions in your own company in preparation for increased business.
3. Rents are totally negotiable - if you have ever thought about expanding your physical space, now is a great time to do it. Many retail, office and warehouse locations have been vacant for 10+ months. Assume that the rate and terms offered are much higher than you should actually pay, and bring in a seasoned negotiator to help you if necessary.
4. Your competitors are still scared - the single greatest opportunity for you right now is to take advantage of your competitors' lowered spending. They have likely pulled back on everything from advertising to customer service, and their customers know it! Now is the time to swoop in and impress everyone with your strength and moxie: show them that your business is still around and doing great!