How to cope when business is bad

Maintaining a positive outlook in a downturn is incredibly important to individuals whose jobs have evaporated or to businesses whose work has dwindled.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, as the many who’ve lost their jobs in the past year know. Workers and home-office inhabitants alike have seen their golden parachutes turn bronze, and watched employee severance packages shrivel. Venture capital and small business financing have also dried up.

Regardless of whether you use a euphemistic adjective to describe the economy – soft, sluggish – or actually say the R-word, the bottom line remains the same. A business closes every three minutes, according to D&B, and we’re still nowhere near out of the woods.

There’s a lot of bad news about things over which you have little control. Other than preparing yourself for the worst and recession-proofing your finances, what can you do?

Think positively.

It may seem like a small thing, but it’s not. Optimism is essential to counteract feelings of failure, insecurity, fear, defeatism and lethargy.

There is more that you can do. Get out and network – it’ll help you socially, psychologically and professionally.

If you are between 25 and 35, you may have a hard time seeing this recession as temporary, given the boom in which you came of working age. If you’re in your forties or older, you may want to talk about a plan for your “second half.”

Chuck out some stuff and clear your working area. Stick closer to home instead of going out, read more, spend time outside. Now may be the time to cut up four of those five credit cards and invest in your personal relationships.

That includes your relationship with yourself.

Hard times offer you the chance, in fact they pretty much force you, to re-evaluate your priorities. Explore your options.

Slow times can bring unexpected opportunities. Try to move into problem-solving mode with energy and focus and review the way you think about yourself. Being able to recognise when you’re “personalising” (assuming something is your fault, when it may have nothing to do with you) and holding defeatist beliefs may be your most valuable assets when it comes to riding out a recession.

With thanks to Kimberlee Roth, a writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Call us on 01865 881056 or email us at if you’d like to discuss any of these issues in more detail.