A lot of businesses have made drastic changes to survive and succeed during this recession. The ones that are still around today took action to save their businesses by downsizing and cutting costs. The companies and business owners that took a while to make any changes either survived or folded.
Below is one business owners story about her business, how it was affected by the poor economy that we are still struggling with today and how she survived:
Harlow chose to open a Signarama franchise when her father retired and sold his automotiveretail business that he had opened in 1980. She worked for her father for almost 15 years, and wanted to continue to maintain a family business. Signarama resonated with her. “I liked the core concepts,” she explained. “I fabricate what I sell, and I sell what I want, when I want, to whom I want. I work with a really creative staff and creative customers, and we produce no hazardous waste. Signarama was exactly what I was looking for in a business.” After opening her store, Harlow’s husband, Brian, joined the business team and their children came to work for them during their summer vacations. The family’s initial runaway success prompted Harlow to move quickly to expand her staff and clients and, in turn, expand her space. Her father bought a large commercial property and they put together a plan for her to acquire the building. They continued to grow until the recession hit in 2009.
“I was way too slow to react and unsure of what to do,” she said. “It started to create problems not just financially but personally and after three years I realized I had to do something drastic.”
Harlow’s solution was to cut all the excess from her business. They turned the building back over to her father, relocated to a smaller space, cut their rent, cut out wasteful expenses and reduced their staff. They also began to turn away new clients. “I decided to focus on taking care of my current clients. I knew it was a risky move and I wasn’t sure how things would turn out. In reality, it was just what we needed.”
By downsizing she was able to get closer with her client's and employees. She may have lost a few customers but by cutting costs, without sacrificing quality, she was able to save her business. Now her company is looking at a 50% growth rate this year as her profit has quadrupled. She even said:
“Now my biggest question is ‘What do I want to be? Bigger? Or just better?’ I think just better.”
Recession or not this is always good advice to ensure lasting success in any economy.
What changes have you made that saved your business that you can share with our readers below?