How to Grow a Business During a Recession

During times of economic hardship, it can be difficult to keep a business afloat, let alone find ways to expand and grow. In some business sectors, long established companies are struggling to keep going and many are going to the wall. But it is possible to find ways to help your business to grow and prosper and there are many enterprising entrepreneurs flourishing despite the recession. So what can you do to help your business survive during a recession?

Adapt to Change

The most important thing you can do when a recession is beginning to bite is to understand that your business will need to adapt in order to survive. When times are good, the marketplace is a prosperous place and it is easy to make money, but consumer habits change during a recession and although there are still opportunities available, businesses need to adapt to suit the changing demands of the global marketplace. By continuing to provide the same services, you run the risk of losing custom in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Evolution is the Key to Growth

Some businesses falter during an economic downturn whereas others thrive. It is important to work out where you are on that scale and if you can take a sideways move into a more prosperous area, then go for it. Be willing to think outside the box and look at which areas have growth potential. It may be sensible to expand a more successful sector of your business whilst scaling back on another. Businesses that fail to adapt to the market conditions will suffer as a result whereas those that are willing to change are more likely to flourish.

New Start Ups in a Recession

It probably seems like the worst idea ever to try and start a new business during a recession, but it is possible to build a successful business despite the tough economic conditions. The important thing is to find the right business opportunity and to stay positive that things will improve.

Take Advantage of Business Opportunities

There are plenty of ways to make a killing during a recession if you are looking to expand your business. Assets such as machinery and stock can be picked up cheaply from companies going out of business and there are likely to be a far higher number of qualified staff looking for new positions. You may also be able to purchase failing companies in the same niche for a rock bottom price if you are looking to gain a bigger foothold in the market.

Cut Expenditure to Create a Leaner Business

In order to survive and grow during a recession a business needs to trim the excess fat. If your business is feeling the pinch, look at where you can save money and cut costs. Renegotiating contracts with suppliers and moving to cheaper premises is a good way to save money, but there are more, so talk to your accountant and see which areas are ripe for a cost saving exercise.

All businesses can survive and grow in a recession as long as they are capable of adapting. By treading the same worn path, you are at risk of succumbing to the challenging conditions, so instead of sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the signs your business is in trouble, look for new ways to grow and evolve.


Doug Barden is a managing partner for Beech Business Services, a company that offers a bespoke and tailored service to businesses for all accounting, payroll and book-keeping needs.  For more information visit

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Doug Barden is a managing partner of Beech Business Services, a leading business advice and accountancy firm located in Lancashire.

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