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Crisis Survival Kit: 5 Business-As-Usual Survival Tactics

Amid a recession, it's tempting to cut back, to forgo risks, and play it safe. For some things that makes sense, but business owners risk sending their company into a downward spiral if they don't seize some opportunities to keep the business growing.
Amid a recession, it's tempting to cut back, to forgo risks, and play it safe. For some things that makes sense, but business owners risk sending their company into a downward spiral if they don't seize some opportunities to keep the business growing.With savvy planning and a cagey strategy many small and midsize businesses will grow during the current downturn by choosing the right places to cut and the right places to invest. The former editor of Entrepreneur, Rieva Lesonsky, offers 5 tips for keep your business going.

  1. Keep overhead low -- Take a hard look at your expenses and scale back on nonessentials. Prime cost-cutting areas include business travel, labor, and rent.
  2. Make noise -- Your competitors will probably cut their marketing spend. That presents an opportunity to get your message out in less cluttered environment and, possibly, at a better rate.
  3. Have a strong online presence -- More and more consumers use the Web to find businesses, so it's crucial that your business be visible online.
  4. "Hire" customers -- Turn your satisfied customers into a word-of-mouth referral engine by offering incentives for those referring new clients to you.
  5. Always negotiate -- Don't forget that everything is negotiable. With other businesses are cutting back, you're in a better position to negotiate for lower rates, better ad placements, lower telephone rate plans, or other discounts.

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