For the last 5 years that we have been in business we have come to know several micro and small business owners. They like us have seen there business grow a little each year and orders were fairly steady. All that has changed in both 2009 and currently in 2010. Some of both the micro and small business have had to close there doors. This is going to hurt the economy even worse then it is now. If and when the economy recovers some of these business won’t be able to re-open there doors.
One business owner was barely hanging on and had a brick and mortar store but also had a website. What she decided to do was to close up her store and has since changed to selling strictly online. By doing this they don’t have the monthly rent, utilities and general overhead.
A consultant that I spoke with said that rather than having an outside office she decided to work in her home. The amount of money that she saved doing this helped her to be able to comfortably pay her mortgage each month.
Some small business owners have sat down with their employees in an open meeting with a brainstorming session. By talking to your employees and letting them know what is going on your employees may have creative ideas of their own that may really help.
One thing that has helped us quite a bit is to come up with ideas for other products. Our BZ Award and the Pennants that we will introduce soon will help in the long run, by expanding our product line into different areas. If you are running a business with a niche product like us now is the time to experiment with new ideas that enhance your business.
This is not the time to start second guessing your product and lowering the price to less than it is worth. What has changed is the economy not your product!
Several of the people that I have talked to have cut corners in there overall personal budget to help ease the strain. Eating out less and spending less on entertainment.
As the average American consumer goes to buy products, and more and more of both small and micro business are failing, the result will be that all of us will have less and less choice in what we can buy. Small business are hurting and there doesn’t seem to be a end in sight. As they fail and products get harder to find it will ultimately hurt everybody. Anything other than cheap cookie cutter products will be hard or impossible to find. Is this what we want?