by Lorraine Ball
Are you ready for economic recovery?
This is not my first rodeo. After 19 years in business I have learned how to hold on when a downward economy tries to buck you off and how to enjoy the ride around the ring when it cycles up.
For many of us 2020 was a particularly tough ride, but this horse is settling down. As it does I am reminded of where we were little more than a decade ago as we slowly climbed out of the longest recession we had experienced as a nation since the early 1960s.
While it officially ended in July 2009, for many small business owners it lingered. Why? During the 2007-2009 downturn most small businesses scaled back purchases, investments and hiring so they weren’t sure how to behave in a recovering economy. They were accustomed to managing expenses and were wary or moving too quickly to make large purchases. This time around the PPP loans helped prevent some of that extreme belt tightening but most are still cautious about making big changes.
Spend your way to economic recovery
My advice today, for small business owners is the same as it was in early 2010. It is time to saddle up and get back in the rodeo ring. You need to start buying things. I’m not advocating that you run out and create a whole lot of credit card debt, but both in your personal life and in your business, it is time to invest.
One of the first measures of a recovering economy is consumer confidence. which is measured by consumer spending. So as you start to make those small, incremental investments in your business, it fuels your local economy, and it creates funds for others to begin spending as well. As a nation, it is this increasing spiral of consumer confidence and spending that will ultimately fuel the economic recovery. So, from a community perspective, making those incremental investments is important so go out to dinner, buy something from a locally owned shop.
Then turn your attention to your business and invest now. Why? Because prices rise during expansionary periods. If you’ve been holding off hiring an employee, updating your website, investing in new technology, now is the time to do it. The prices will never be lower than they are right now. Making those investments now, while the prices are more affordable will help you prepare for the oncoming expansion.
By making those investments you will be one step ahead of your competitors. The choice is yours, we are on the brink of economic recovery. The only thing that you can control is whether you will be on the front end or the back end of that horse.