Six opportunities in a down economy

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We are bombarded by thousands of messages telling us how bad things are.

And you can’t take away the fact that inflation is rising, the economy is crawling on its knees, energy prices, including electricity and petrol, have rocketed, and finding a job is almost impossible.

Yet, in poor economic times there are those who score.

When the ill winds start to blow, the wise ones knuckle down. They get rid of debt. They see that their finances are in order. They stop unnecessary spending.

Simply put, they reduce spending and save the money in the right places where there is some safe harbour until things improve.

We’ve seen many small businesses go to the wall.

But even those small business owners who have had to close their doors get up again and try something new.

People want to save money in this economy. I know of a business that sells coffee at lower prices than the rest of the market. A Brazilian woman told me that the coffee is as good as anything in San Paolo. The owners of this business started in the recession.

Other people can’t afford to buy properties so in this market they are renting. If you have property, it’s a good investment in these times.

If you are in retail, and your lease is about to expire, perhaps it’s a good time to rethink the location of your store. Several local business owners I know have I got out of shopping centers and found less expensive premises just down the road.

Bulk buying where consumers can save is also growing. The main area seems to be food. A new chain of bulk foods has started in my area and is offering unbelievable specials on meat, dairy and frozen products. Their entry into the market was well timed.

Some razor sharp business people go for buying up acids at lower prices with seller is trying to raise income. We are seeing this happening in property, machinery and household goods. Just yesterday someone I know called to ask where he could get a humidifier repaired. He’s going to auctions, finding bargains and even if they are not in workable condition, fixing them up and reselling them.

His wife accompanied him on one of the auctions, bought a decorative panel for R200, cleaned it up and sold it on the next auction for R1400.

Something that one person considers worthless may be considered valuable by someone else. As the saying goes, “One person is trash is another persons treasure”.

There are many other ways to find opportunities and perhaps the greatest one is to think about investing in yourself. In these times, isn’t it perhaps a good time to learn a new skill, take a new course, start a hobby that will pay off in the long term.

Ultimately, it’s about economic survival. You have to do what you have to do in times like this. We all know the strongest survive. Being positive and having an opportunity mindset can assist small businesses through rough times.

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