Our guest author today is Barry Moltz. Barry has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. He’s also the author of “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success”. He is an enthusiastic speaker and teacher on entrepreneurship.

8 Things You Need To Start a Business During a Recession

1. Sell Painkillers. During difficult economic times, people only buy when they are in pain or have a very great need. Focus on selling the painkillers in business not vitamins. Understand who is in pain and who has the money to solve that pain. Understand who solves that pain for them now and why they will switch to you. (hint: the answer can’t always be price!)

2. Find Lunatics Like You. Business’ ideas are meaningless. It’s all in the execution which means that it’s only about people. Find the people that you want to start a business with and stick with them. Build a strong personal and professional support structure — you will need it.

3. Show Me the Customers. Forget about the fancy business plans or the extended analysis. Go out and ask prospects “Will you buy my products?” That answer will be the only one your business needs.

4. It’s Cash Flow, Stupid. Get customers to pay in advance or with cash when they buy. Start-up business is about your cash flow not profit. If you can get your customers to pay a deposit or pay you when you deliver your product your company will be stronger.

5. Pick the Niche. In the beginning, focus on being the best at delivering one thing. Don’t stretch yourself and your resources too thin.

6. Give Crazy Customer Service. Outstanding customer service, unless you are a utility company, is the only sustainable competitive advantage. Do it!

7. Be Cheap. It’s your money. Spend no dollar before its time. Find resources that are both variable and available. Don’t grow yourself broke by increasing your fixed overhead costs.

8. Don’t Bet the Farm (or any other part of your property). Many times, businesses need to evolve and change. Don’t bet all of your money on the initial vision of your company. Keep some of your money in reserve in case you need to alter your direction.

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