During the early 1990s Japan underwent a severe recession and many small businesses failed. There were four lessons learned by small businesses that survived and latter thrived during those tough economic times. When the Japanese economy recovered in the late 1990s, by adhering to these four points, many small businesses were situated to capitalize on new found prosperity in 2000.
1) DON’T COMPETE ON PRICE: Either quality or profits will be compromised; loss of either represents an unsustainable business model. No matter how much you lower your prices you can not outlast the big retailers who are able to command large discounts from suppliers and distributors.
2) LOWER YOUR OVERHEAD: Now is not the time to make improvements in equipment or space. This is a good time to get your family to help in the business on a part-time basis. This is not the time to hire new employees.
3) ESTABLISH A LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE: Courtesy and quality will not overcome low price for some customers; however, in a small business you do not want to entertain the ever increasing demands of price sensitive consumers. Simple things like appreciation letters, commissioned orders and unique (not discounted) products will optimize survivability.
4) DIVERSIFY/ INVEST IN YOUR EDUCATION: Time is plentiful in a down economy; therefore, hours are available for additional training and studying. When the economy recovers, the most skilled are the first to be offered new opportunities and the most resistant to unemployment in future downturns in the business cycle.
These four points are relevant to our current hobby of adventure games(http://jamesmishler.blogspot.com),
especially since many enthusiasts are now attempting to
self-publish or create their own gaming companies.
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