Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Respond to an Economic Slowdown

The press is going nuts over the economic slowdown here in the US. Everyday I hear talk of higher gas and food prices. People are worried about losing their jobs. The credit markets are frozen. So what is any respectable entreprenuer to do?

The answer is simple: invest and grow. Going into this slowdown, I have replaced 70% of my rental inventory with new, better projectors and laptops. This required us to take on some significant debt. I have effectively lowered prices on projector rentals across the board. Is it a big risk? Nope! Not at all.

In fact, doing nothing is a bigger risk. By investing in new equipment, I can give my clients a better rental experience. Happy clients means more business. It is really very simple.

On my real estate side, I have a new building that has three empty spaces. These are office spaces, so the build out isn't special for each tenant. Over the past several months I have invested in finishing these spaces out with the best interiors I can afford. The payoff is finding great long term tenants who would otherwise pass my building over because the spaces were concrete floors and studs. Now, they have wood floors, kitchenettes, lots of interior glass doors and windows, and fiber optic internet service.

While everyone seems to be pulling back, I choose to push forward. The payoff is very good in the long term. In the short term, I am not wasting energy pulling back.

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