Staying Afloat as The Recession Lingers

By Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

The latest talk in town is the recession. Organizations are laying off staff in hundreds, some owe months of salaries while some have been forced to close down because of the state of the economy. For the entrepreneur, the story is not much different. In fact, there are those who will argue that entrepreneurs have it worse because the recession means they will no longer have clients or customers but I beg to differ.

You can make money even during a recession. There are hundreds of examples of businesses that were created during a recession and succeeded afterwards. There are also entrepreneurs who made great wealth during a recession. So what makes the difference? Why do some businesses stay afloat during a recession and why do others sink?

I believe the answer to those questions lie in the entrepreneur’s capacity to see and seize opportunities. It is possible for you to see an opportunity, identify a gap in the market, but you may not be able to do anything about it. However, if you must succeed in this recession you have to be able to seize every opportunity that you find. I will also add that you have to create opportunities for yourself.

Over the weekend, as I was walking home, I was amazed at the number of food stalls that had suddenly appeared on a street close to my house. Those food stalls were buzzing with activities. People were ordering food, some were waiting to be served while others were collecting their change.

No matter what happens in the world, there are basic things people will always do; they will eat, they will move around, they will make phone calls and so on. This means that, even though it may be reduced, people are still spending money.

I still marvel at the thousands of people who are travelling in and out of Nigeria every day, despite the current rise in exchange rate. What does this tell you? There is money. So don’t get yourself stuck by focusing on the recession or the seeming absence of money. What you should focus on to stay afloat, is creating opportunities for yourself.

Think about what people want need and want during this period. What value can you add? How can you turn this value into a product or service that people will gravitate towards? When people find something that adds value to them, they will part with their money.

You must also be thinking of how to increase the streams of revenue in your business. I know someone who organizes business seminars and conferences and recently, she packaged the content of one of those conferences and began to sell them as DVDs. That is extra revenue for the business as she will be able to reach more people with her DVD. She could even take it further by creating an online school where this content can be downloaded at a premium price. The possibilities are endless really.

Open yourself and be in tune with what your customers want. Ask for feedback. Find out what will make their lives better, offer to help and create something out of this that will bring in revenue. Your business can thrive in this recession. It just depends on whether you are bold enough to do what others are afraid to do.

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