Surviving Economic Busts
What I’ve Learned about Surviving Economic Busts

These are such scary times, both personally and professionally,  that the easiest thing to do would be to crawl into a shell and stay there until everything sorts itself out. 

Unfortunately, life goes on and so must we, as we maneuver through this pandemic and try to come out whole on the other side of it.

Luckily, I’ve learned a few things over my 30 years of being in business, about how to weather economic realities that are beyond my control.  I’ve successfully survived the impact of the first Gulf war in 1991 (just a year after starting my business;) the Tech bust in 1998; 9/11 in 2001; and the Great Recession in 2009-12.  Here is what I am putting into my own playbook now to get through this unprecedented time;  I offer these “lessons learned” to you as well.

  • Focuson the Future
    • Prepare for a very different future
    • Consider the consequences of decisions for both short and long term to balance the needs of both
    • Continually scan to see what patterns are emerging in business/industry; think about what opportunities these patterns might present for you
  • Invest“plow the ground for the Future”
    • Now is the time to invest in marketing, building new skills, developing capacity, and expanding networks to be ready for a different future.
    • Get better at what seems to be looming in the future (technology?)
    • Don’t have a lot of money? You can still invest by volunteering time and effort in ways that provide new learning opportunities, community visibility, and expanded networks.
  • Team upand care for the people around you
    • Care for the people (customers, employees, community, vendors, etc.) that make your business a success. Now is the time to be generous with others.
    • Reach out to clients to maintain the relationship; find out what is becoming important to them
    • Now more than ever, it is also important to build partnerships and teamwork across businesses and industries to identify and shape new opportunities for the future.
  • Stay Positiveand take care of yourself
    • Take care of your own mental health
    • Don’t be shy to apply for benefits and loans of which you may be eligible – it is not a personal failure!
    • Everyone wants to work with a winner – your attitude is your strength.

Invariably, there will be those who prosper in the year ahead.  Remember the Chinese saying, “The times produce their heroes.”   Best to you, and good luck to us all!

Cathy Perme is the co-owner of Perme & Peterson Associates, LLC.

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Catherine Perme

Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant author Cathy Perme also wrote Confucius in My Cubicle: Practical Wisdom for the Leader in All of Us, released by Wisdom Editions.

rich set of suggestions
Cathy's marketing and selling background makes for a rich set of suggestions for getting business and building one’s brand. I think it is rare ...
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Barbara A Tuckner
Cathy's marketing and selling background makes for a rich set of suggestions for getting business and building one’s brand. I think it is rare for an independent consultant to "give away" so much of their business engine and expertise. That adds up to a heap of generosity; something that is remarkable in the "friendly" competitive consulting world.
rich set of suggestions
Barbara A Tuckner
down to earth and practical
Down-to-earth, practical, and provides plenty of tools to use to develop your independent consulting business. Cathy takes a constructive look at how to succeed by ...
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Meghan Jost
Down-to-earth, practical, and provides plenty of tools to use to develop your independent consulting business. Cathy takes a constructive look at how to succeed by intelligently marketing yourself, engaging others, and keeping it all in balance with your personal life.
down to earth and practical
Meghan Jost
dozens of ideas
Cathy gives dozens of ideas about networking effectively, making sales calls and using social media and she doesn’t minimize the effort that has to ...
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NES
Cathy gives dozens of ideas about networking effectively, making sales calls and using social media and she doesn’t minimize the effort that has to go into it. It’s a reality check for anyone who thinks they can just hang up their shingle and become a consultant, but a great guide for anyone who’s willing to put in the hard work to be a success.
dozens of ideas
NES
from a to z
Cathy will take you from point A to Z on how to successfully become an independent consultant.
Charles Bever
Cathy will take you from point A to Z on how to successfully become an independent consultant.
from a to z
Charles Bever
methodical steps
For those that take the leap, Cathy's methodical steps will surely be helpful in achieving success.
Kevin Walsh
For those that take the leap, Cathy's methodical steps will surely be helpful in achieving success.
methodical steps
Kevin Walsh
recommend to anyone
I recommend to anyone starting a business.
Patricia Jayne Keefer
I recommend to anyone starting a business.
recommend to anyone
Patricia Jayne Keefer
years of lessons
Cathy shares years of lessons and a broad breadth of practical consulting and business experience in a very clear and engaging guide for starting and ...
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Ted Clark
Cathy shares years of lessons and a broad breadth of practical consulting and business experience in a very clear and engaging guide for starting and developing a successful consulting company. Highly recommended.
years of lessons
Ted Clark
I appreciate Cathy sharing
I appreciate Cathy sharing what she’s learned over the past 30 years about how to succeed as an independent consultant. Her advice is straight forward, ...
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Amy Brown
I appreciate Cathy sharing what she’s learned over the past 30 years about how to succeed as an independent consultant. Her advice is straight forward, thoughtful, organized, and easy to follow.
I appreciate Cathy sharing
Amy Brown
Learning Experience Face
This has been a truly learning experience and has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Anonymous
This has been a truly learning experience and has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Learning Experience Face
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drove to closure horse
Took a very complicated and dynamic set of realities and personalities, surfaced underlying issues, facilitated a robust and healthy interaction, and drove the process to ...
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Anonymous
Took a very complicated and dynamic set of realities and personalities, surfaced underlying issues, facilitated a robust and healthy interaction, and drove the process to closure and action.
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Cathy Perme