Thrive in Tough Times

Times are tough, we all know that. We also know that there are always opportunities to be had, and that companies that survive this downturn will emerge stronger than ever.

But in reading “Business Opportunities Abound, Even in Bad Times” in the NY Times, I was reminded that there are opportunities out there expressly as a result of the economic malaise.

The three examples given in the article that prompted this thought were:

1. A provider of medical bill discounts to low-income earners, which expects its customer base to grow sixfold this year (as more people lose their jobs, their potential market grows).

2. A computer security specialist (more disgruntled ex-employees mean that more companies might need security services).

3. A “search fund,”¬†an operation that actively looks for businesses to buy and flip (taking advantage of tumbling prices caused by the poor economy).

You can extend the thinking behind these kinds of businesses to revenue streams that may work well for web workers. You need to think about what types of services are likely to be in demand because we’re in a recession, and see if you can extend your offering to meet those needs.

If you’re a web developer you could build a service that helps people looking for cheap medical insurance; services that helps folks save cash on basic needs would be another idea. For example, a site where users could get coupons, or where they could research which grocery stores are cheapest based on the type of goods they’re looking to buy.

Or if you have security expertise, you could follow the example of Fidelis Security, covered in the article, and target your offering to companies worried about “data leaks” from disgruntled ex-employees.

If you have some capital, now might be a good time to look for web businesses to acquire to add to your portfolio. Tough times mean that you may be able to grab a bargain.

As a web worker, you’re already in a good position to weather the recession: you have a low cost base, you are agile, and you can access a global marketplace. But by making some smart decisions, your business could actually thrive in this downturn.

What strategies are you using to thrive in the downturn?