Uh-oh. That awful "R" word is getting thrown around. Officially, our fearless leaders are still saying "No way, everything's fine.. the tax rebates will fix everything", but I'm sure that behind closed doors there is a lot more worry and fear.
I hope that we can pull out of this - it's not fun watching my investments head south - though on the other hand, this is exactly the right time to be buying stocks. But I don't want to see people laid off, losing their homes, not being able to send their kids to college.. economic hardship can put tremendous stress on people.
However, some businesses do well in recessions, or at least do better than you might expect. If you repair things or know how to support legacy software (SCO?), you will do better in a recession because other businesses will be trying to "make do" and "get by" with what they have rather than buying new. If you are the person who can help them do that, you'll get the business.
Obviously your advertising and marketing strategy would change in such a market. You'd want to stress maintenance and expertise more than shiny brand new stuff. You also need to be even more alert than usual for opportunity. Your old RedHat 9 customer who has let maintenance lapse may not realize that you could modernize him with Fedora without him losing his "RedHat" knowledge. That old SCO customer might finally be ready to listen to your Linux pitch now because the $70,000 Windows system is completely out of reach.
It's also a great time to sell retainers. That may seem contradictory - times are tough, why would the customer want to be more inclined to pay a retainer? Well, because it does make sense, and in these circumstances customers are more willing to listen to your pitch that it will save them money if they need more of your services.. and as it is obvious that they will be trying to do more with less, they surely WILL be relying upon you more.
Recessions can be tough, but they can also provide opportunity. Don't ignore that.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-08-05 Anthony Lawrence