Small Business: Growing in a Downturn

The great thing about the business cycle is that downturns don’t last forever. We’ve seen the fruits of prosperity after the Great Depression and after the 1980s recession. If history is any guide, we’ll surely see an upturn in the economy after this fiscal nightmare. Today, I had the honor of discussing how individuals and black-owned small businesses can grow in a recession on 1450AM Biz Talk with Josh.

The host, Joshua Smith, is an über successful entrepreneur and a managing partner at the Coaching Group, where he’s a consultant to the CEOs of portfolio companies. He splits his time on the airwaves talking to small business owners. Kelvin Boston, host of PBS’ Moneywise with Kelvin Boston” also appeared on the show.

If you tuned in, you probably heard me mention many resources, tips, and tools for small business owners and those feeling the burn of the downturn. Below are links and further information that will help you exercise a little more austerity and prepare for the upswing.  And if you didn’t get a chance to listen, click here to check me out.

Take Advantage of tax deductions: Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the full purchase price from your gross income.

Dial up for free: If you haven’t jumped on the Skype, now is the perfect time. Skype offers free Voice Over Internet Protocol software that allows users to make calls over the internet. Calls to other users are free and to landlines for a small fee. You can also check out Gizmo Call,  which is similar to Sykpe without the special software. Unlike Skype it doesn’t allow video calls or instant messaging.

Learn what fixed costs can be turned into variable costs: If you have an in-house bookkeeper, consider outsourcing the job. Check out, an online marketplace that allows people to buy and sell their products and services.

Never stop learning: The Small Business Administration offers a number of free online courses including “Downshifting in a Slowing Economy.”

Monetize your passion: If you’re between jobs, now may be the perfect time to find that passion that has been dormant. Figure out how you can monetize your passion. Search the Web for people who are making money off of a similar interest. Consider attending a business seminar to find out how you can begin selling your products or services. In this day of Web 2.0, it’s never been easier to do so.