What the digital world thinks of the recession
The big headlines you see these days might be screaming “worldwide recession” and “downsizing”, but if you know the right online people and places, and you do a bit of digging around too, you might be surprised by what you uncover in the smartest and sharpest corners of the Internet.
As your friendly Undercover Geek, I wanted to see if there were any silver linings to the economic downturn. I mean, I get it — as a small business owner, or maybe someone with a side hustle, it’s easy to drift into panic mode at the mere mention of the dreaded “R” word.
After a little digging, I think it might be premature to let current economic trends freak you out. From what I’ve discovered, the recession might hit the big targets like a tidal wave, but things may not be so bad for smaller businesses.
So keep the life vest stowed away for now and hang on in there as I share some thinking that’s not just clickbait doom and gloom.
Don’t worry, get busy
Business influencer Neel Dhingra has a great message—when we are on the Internet, we tend to find what we’re looking for. So if we’re expecting to find stories about how the recession will destroy us, that’s what we’ll find. But guess what? The recession is actually a great time to start a business or build what you’ve already got. As he reminds us, companies like Disney, Slack, and Uber all started during economic downturns. And if they can do it, so can you.
Prepared by the pandemic
MarketWatch is about as serious a place as you can get on the Internet. But in an article from June, they point out that many small business owners aren’t scared of the “R word” this time around. Why? Well, it turns out that for many businesses, lessons learned from going through the pandemic have made them stronger. Learning how to pivot to new models, building their branding and marketing efforts (anyone use the quarantine to redo their website?), and finding ways to be resilient give a lot of businesses confidence they can weather the latest downturn. How about you? Have you made changes in the past couple of years to improve your business?
Make what you sell a ‘must-have’
Over on Substack, the folks at Category Pirates remind us that to survive tough economic times, you have to do some serious thinking about your business. Regardless of what product or services your company sells, how can you create a demand for what you do? They look at all the pitfalls failed businesses stumble into and remind us that to succeed, it’s up to businesses to turn what they sell into something people can’t live without.
Get lean, mean, and reap the green
On Main Street Insiders, a financial Substack, authors Jeff and Luke Perlot are all about straight talk. To get through this recession, you need to cut expenses, reevaluate priorities, and make smart decisions. But they also point out that there are positive aspects to an economic downturn as well, and taking advantage of lower prices and new investment opportunities could mean that you not only survive this period but thrive, coming out way ahead when it’s all over. And how cool would that be?
The recession might not even be coming for you
Over on TikTok, @MaryDrennan has a great theory about why small businesses are going to do just fine during the recession because they do something different from a lot of startups. We’ll let her tell you the secret.
We can make it through this
What do you think? Sure things will be tough for a while, with supply chain issues and inflation, but with the pandemic, small business owners have been through worse. It could be that Fortune 500 companies will sink under the waves during the recession — but smaller businesses can pull out the lifeboats they bought online back in 2020 and ride out the storm.