In these days of global economic crisis, small businesses and the self-employed may be poised to benefit if they can properly position themselves.  The advantage of being a small business in this environment is flexibility, low overhead and less reliance on credit for capital.  Large businesses tend to be rigid, have massive amounts of overhead compressing their margins and rely heavily on commercial paper and equity to raise capital.

Big opportunities for small businesses

Small businesses that utilize the above advantages while focusing on their customer relationships and working to quickly pick up the slack of other failing businesses may weather the storm and even may find the crisis has brought opportunities that otherwise would not have existed.  Sometimes this may require repositioning your strategy or adapting your business plan to suit the economic environment.

My opportunity

For example, I moved my company, Envescent more in to computer repair, data recovery and other consumer and small business services while moving away from web hosting and e-commerce during the start of this recession.

My reason for moving in to computer repair and data recovery is the strong local need for expertise from a small business that can offer good customer service.  Moving away from web hosting and e-commerce was logical as these sectors have been compressed to razor thin margins in very heavily saturated markets with a lot of room for demand reduction.

Surviving cycles

Knowing when to get in and out of sectors is very important to the survival of a business.  My opportunity was found knowing that this crisis would probably hurt the areas that rely off consumer spending on new items (web hosting because it’s mostly marketing and e-commerce because it is direct consumption) and instead I focused on what are necessary services for every consumer and small business.

I started Arlington Virginia Computer Repair in May of 2006 to put a brand name on Envescent’s computer computer repair and data recovery services.  This has been a very rewarding opportunity because I’ve been able to raise awareness with a new name that is easy to brand and built on the solid reputation of nearly 10 years of service.

Find your opportunity

You can use this crisis to find an opportunity as well.  Use what you understand about your area of expertise to see which sectors may be better or worse for your business to get in or out of.  Don’t panic just because others are.  Keep yourself composed and remember that there’s always a better day ahead.