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Making the best out of a bad Economy

Bad economies aren’t good for business, I don’t care what anybody says. I have found there are many “negatives” in a bad economy. For example, company profits are down, sales are often sluggish, and it’s an overall tough time for the company and the general population. Making the best out of a bad economy is not always easy, but it needs to be done. During tough periods of economic uncertainty, there is no better time to start your own business. If you already have a successful business it may be time to start another. If you’re buried in business you probably don’t have time to concentrate on new ideas. However, if you have free time it might be a good time for you or your company to concentrate on innovation, new ideas, and creativity. In bad economies, many companies are cutting jobs and many individuals find themselves laid off. This gives you the perfect opportunity to find the most talented workers at a fair rate for your start-up.

There are many challenges we face as individuals in a bad economy. I know the last time we were in a recession in 2008, I saw a lot of my friends lose their jobs. These were good hard working people with well established careers. If you have low risk tolerance, you may want to start Networking more. Additionally, you could revamp your resume and check out what’s out there. Remember, you’re more apt to find a job reaching out to your friends within your existing network than any other way. Get out there and connect with people, there is a whole world of opportunity out there.

Making the best out of a bad Economy

How much money do I really need to live?

This is a great question to ask yourself, especially in a bad economy. First of all, you need to separate your “needs” from your “wants” in your life. We all know the difference between “needs” and “wants”. For example, a twelve pack of beer is a want while toothpaste is a need. Another example, Starbucks coffee is a “want” while drinking water is a “need”. You get the picture, you should also make sure you aren’t living beyond your means as well. You should most definitely monitor your expenses as well, you would be surprised how inexpensive our daily lives can be if we only give into our “needs.” You might want to pay close attention to your budget as well during an economic downturn. IF you haven’t set up a budget you should do so immediately and stick to it. You can go days and days without spending any money, I’ve done it before.

Doing all of these things will help you immensely, you’ll eventually figure out what kind of budget you need to stick to in order to save money. You won’t overspend and live beyond your means, but you’ll be frugal instead. You’ll start to become accustomed to your financial habits and you’ll be able to decide if you would like to stay working where you are, find a new job, start your own business, or become a freelancer.

Making the best out of a bad Economy

Save and Cut Expenses

This goes for businesses as well as individuals, during tough economic times you need to find ways to save and trim some of the fat. Look at your budget and try to find creative ways to save money. If you have your own business, are there any expenses you budget for that are providing zero to little return? If so, get rid of them now. Do you have any debt? Make a plan to pay it off as fast as you possibly can. If your company has debt, make sure you have a plan to get rid of it, especially in a bad economy. In tough economic times, you should scrutinize every last penny you spend.

Are you saving enough? Make sure you’re saving enough and be frugal, not cheap. That may sound like bad advice, but practicing frugality reflects you in a positive light, while being cheap does not. Make sure you’re putting away a certain amount of money every month, you can do it no matter what situation you’re in. Try to practice simple things, like basic accounting. For example, from the time I was a kid cutting lawns up until I graduated from college I always balanced my checkbook and watched my money very closely. You can do these same simple things and watch your savings grow.

Making the best out of a bad Economy

Get Creative

This goes for the individual as well as the business. There are so many ways to bring in multiple streams of income. It may not be easy for you, but find them. For example, if you own a lawn care business try to branch out into related areas such as snow removal, landscaping, mulching, leaf removal, etc. Another example, if you have a real estate license expand into a few other verticals such as commercial real estate, business brokerage, and land sales. During tough economic times, people and businesses will innovate and find more ways to make money and expand in the business world.

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