3 ways businesses weathered the Great Recession

Our Trends team analyzed hundreds of stories about how businesses survived the economic upheaval a decade ago.


April 14, 2020

Be ruthless about your spending — and your debt. Find new partners. And when the market leads you to something new, follow it.

Those are a few of the lessons we learned from poring over your stories of strategies that companies used to weather the Great Recession a decade ago.

Our Trends team analyzed hundreds of responses to our recent survey and turned them into a database that can help your business navigate difficult times. Here are a few of our biggest takeaways.

Cut as much fat as possible. This one sounds obvious, but it was by far the most common strategy among businesses that survived the turmoil. Look everywhere, and be certain you’re not buying more materials or spending more than you need to.

Technology can help. Amazing Blades Landscaping, in South Carolina, cut expenses by tracking its workers’ whereabouts, which helped eliminate unnecessary stops.

Strategic partnerships are your friend. Teaming up with other businesses — even your direct competition — can keep you and your peers afloat. FairCoProcess, a legal services business started in 2003, formed a professional referral network with other businesses in its industry.

If your competitors are really struggling, it might even be time to think about a strategic acquisition.

Be nimble — that often means putting your ego aside. Brad Emerson, owner of FixYourOwnBindery.com, attributed his survival of the recession in part due to “follow[ing] where the market took the business.”

Trends subscribers get access to the whole database of Great Recession stories and our exclusive analysis of the responses. Start your trial today to begin browsing.

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