Deja vu, IV

May 20, 2020

For the past three weeks, we’ve been sharing lessons you’ve already absorbed…from the 2008 economic snafu…ones you can apply right now to thrive, rather than struggle.

You have a tested role model at your fingertips.  Never forget the wisdom you’ve acquired already and can reapply.

We’ve shared six of eight insights from 2008 experience you can “reuse” right now. Today, the last two have arrived.

By recognizing the parallels between the two crises, small business owners will uncover beacons they can use right now to stay healthy or afloat until the incoming waters recede.

You’ve got six in hand already.  Here come 7 and 8.

  1. Dress the part even when you’re home. While this advice might seem minor compared to the others here, those sweatpants you’ve been wearing don’t say “business.”  Forsake your two-week-old scruffy Coronavirus beard for a clean shave.  Ditch the pajamas.  They do not say “work.” Work clothes do.  Dress the part.  You’ll feel more powerful and in command immediately.

And perhaps the biggest lesson 2008 has to offer all of us is this:

  1. Get ready for the outsourcing tsunami. During the 2008 Great Recession lay-offs swept over most businesses. Yet the work didn’t cease.  Companies, particularly publicly traded businesses, discovered an appetite for contractors.  Contractors can be hired and “retired” without all the intricacies of furloughing or laying-off employees.  Big business report financials with a ratio called “revenue-to-employee,” dividing their gross revenue by the number of its employees.  The revenue-to-employee ration immediately improves using contractors.  Contractors aren’t employees. Contractors do not factor into the ratio.  Businesses discovered contractors provide an affordable, flexible way to grow their business.  Count on a burst of contractor hiring by businesses of all sizes coming your way when this crisis is in hand.

Thank you 2008.  While we didn’t like it at the time, 2008 has handed us lessons for right now to better navigate our small businesses through rough times.

Remember:  you’ve already learned how to handle a crisis.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams