Why Economic Downturns are Actually Great Opportunities for Small Business

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Today, May 1st, 2020, I am in the midst of the third major economic downturn, (recession, collapse, retreat, bear market, whatever you would like to call it) in my entrepreneurial career.

The Dot.Com bust in 2001 launched my first successful business endeavor. (My wife often reminds me of the many attempts previously.) I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so we launched and went to work. 

From that economic low, and subsequent bounce, I benefited from seeing, and taking action on, opportunities that had presented themselves. I began to learn or “know” that I still didn’t really know, but continued to move forward.

2008 arrives. The housing and financial crash. I had lost my dad in 2006, and that same year, our second child was born. Sixteen months later, our third child arrived. 

I was not ready for, or even considering what the “Great Recession” of 2008/09 would mean for the business and my family. What I did not know was that opportunities were all around me. I had the know-how to seek out those opportunities and to take managed risks and apply that to what was right in front of me.

That year, I began another acquisition that closed in 2009 which opened up a huge new market for our existing business, resulting in double-digit growth when others were experiencing a double-digit decline.

Since then, I have chosen to always look for opportunities at times when others are cautious, conservative, or holding back. Not to just stand firm, but to step forward. 

COVID 19 has come on fast and furious and will be what many point to for this economic downturn. However, opportunities are all around us for those with eyes open. 

For me, it seems natural to start a new business, create engagement that focuses on helping other small businesses seek opportunities, to become Aware, to consider human Behavior, work habits, tendencies, and ultimately see real change in Culture that sets a business or person on a new path of success. 

When others want to shelter in place, take cover, “hunker down,” I suggest opening up, looking around, finding new ways of moving forward. Awareness, Behavior and Culture should be part of your DNA.

The great explorer, Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1520) wrote:

“The Courage to Succeed. The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore. Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible…it is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors. To meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown.”

Today is the start of the next big economic boom, get on board and be a part of it!

– Ryan Heining, Founding Partner


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