Possible new challenges mean new opportunities for agile businesses.
Dan Hogan, owner of Doctor’s Associates Home Health, a provider of in-home health care services, believes that 2010 represents an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground.
“I think you’ll see more capital available for start ups in the new year,” he said. “A lot of leading economic indicators are reflecting a far more positive financial climate in 2010 and I think that will translate into good ideas getting funded.”
Cullen Douglass, owner of Douglass Financial Services, agrees that 2010 presents opportunities for entrepreneurs, who are more adept than most people at turning lemons into lemonade.
“One man’s challenge is another man’s opportunity,” said Douglass. “In 2010, I’m going to be opening up an office in Green Hills to recruit people to being self-employed and running their own businesses in the financial services industry. I think 2010 will present our firm with great opportunities to offer solutions to people who are unhappy in their current situation or people looking for new challenges.”
A realistic assessment, not a rose-colored perspective, is key to seeing real opportunities for competitive advantages in 2010.
Clay Blevins, owner of Comfort Supply Inc., an HVAC Systems distributor, said he believes the first half of 2010 will look a lot like 2009 in terms of consumer confidence. Efficiency will be the name of the game as entrepreneurs learn to do more with fewer resources, he added.
“Consumer sentiment may start to gradually pick up in the second half of the year,” he said. “We’re not predicting much change in ‘new home starts’ in 2010. However, because the challenges of 2009 have turned us into a more efficient organization, we’re better able to profit in what looks like an unprofitable environment to most. We’ve continued to grow at about a 15 percent rate during the recession, and we see this trend continuing n 2010.”
The best time to sprint ahead is when the crowd is pulling back. Smart businesses will invest in growth strategies in 2010.
Promoting businesses will play a major role in entrepreneurial plans for 2010 as many EO members mentioned increasing spending to pick up market share while competitors are cutting back.
“We are going to spend more on marketing and be more aggressive,” said Davis. “We offer some discounted and government subsidized programs to consumers that we will make sure they are aware they can take advantage of.”
Barrett said he plans to grow his firm in 2010 through three strategies: expanding laterally into new industries, adding at least one new revenue stream and strengthening his firm’s online presence.
Entrepreneurs have a distinct advantage in the current business environment – and in the expected environment in 2010.
One thing everyone agrees on is that entrepreneurs have an advantage in the current business climate over corporate America.
“Big business can get financing, but will likely attend to their existing lines of business that are under pressure due to the recession,” said Dan Cook, president of Cook-Land, an automated system for wildlife and park agencies. “Big businesses are less creative, nimble and optimistic than entrepreneurs, and despite their access to capital they are much more risk averse.”
“Smaller companies have the ability to adjust on the fly and take advantage of the opportunities a slow market creates,” said Davis – a sentiment shared by Hogan who added that what big businesses have in resources they lack in agility.
“Entrepreneurs are almost always first to a new market and usually are the ones creating them,” Hogan said.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a global network of like-minded business owners who have founded a company with annual revenue of at least $1 million before age 50. For more information about EO Nashville, contact Sameera Lowe, executive director, at (615) 309-1755.