Don’t Mention the “R Word”! Why the Recession is the Perfect Time to Start or Scale! – #0033

What have Air B&B, Whatsapp, Fed Ex, IBM, Microsoft and my little (in comparison) company all got in common? And, no…this isn’t me prepping you for your next pub quiz, this is my version of a much needed pep talk! All of these companies were set up in a recession. And let’s be honest, none of them have done too badly, have they?

Although it looks like America may avoid one this year, as the mainstream media all reported last week, Britain has been in recession since last Summer. As usual, all the doom and gloom merchants have jumped on the bandwagon, despite the contraction of the economy being only 0.3%. 7 days seems to be a long time, with some now stating its the worst economy since World War Two. Bit dramatic, and also not true.

My Real World Experience

How do I know its not true? Because we set up our business in 2011, we were 2 guys in a garage, as the world was still in the midst of THE global financial meltdown. To the doom and gloomers this would have been an unthinkable move. We were naive, 13 years later looking back that much is 100% clear. BUT…would we have changed the economy we set up our business in? In hindsight, no.


The Perfect Time

A recession is the perfect time to set up a business. Businesses don’t always fail because of a lack of customers, but because of a lack of systems and processes. It sounds funny to type this sentence 13 years later, but when we launched, we weren’t distracted by too many clients (ha!). We had the luxury time. We had only a trickle of revenue that went through a mechanism that we spent the first 18-24 months perfecting. We “tested” the business with a small number of clients. Something so powerful, and so overlooked by others desperate for a big start in business. This wasn’t purposeful, but enforced, and my god we wouldn’t go back and change that now.


Riding the Wave

When the economy finally took off, as it always eventually does, we rode that wave, not in a small rowboat (as we would have done, trying to keep up with our clients’ demands), but in a fully equipped war ship we had built and perfected, ready for battle.

Everything was scalable, everything just worked, and we grew, faster than anyone could have imaged. I’m not claiming to be in the same league as the organisations mentioned above, but the journey at least seems very similar, albeit much smaller.

The issue is not the economy but the opinions of people always looking for an excuse not to act. During the boom times, they will say “I wouldn’t build a business now, that ship has sailed, too much competition”. During the tougher times they will say “too risky, we are in recession”.

The truth is some people are always in recession, no matter what the economy is doing. There is never a perfect time to launch or scale, but a recession is as good a time as any, if not the best.

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