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Great opportunities for business start-ups during recession

It might sound unlikely, with all the talk we hear of gloom and doom, but a recession can actually provide good opportunities for those thinking of starting a new business. Competitors may be struggling or going out of business, so your business may be able to operate in a less-crowded market than in better economic times.  High unemployment and redundancies may make it easier for businesses to attract good staff at reasonable rates.

Philippa Turnbull is well-qualified to comment on the opportunities for businesses starting during recession. Her company, Software-Matters is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, having started life in 1994 in a previous recession.  Back then, petrol was around 48p a litre, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s president, the Channel Tunnel opened, and Four Weddings and a Funeral was released. The economic situation then, as now, was not ideal. The country was hoping it was about to emerge from the recession, and that house prices would rise again (typical house prices were around £60,000).

It might not sound like the best time to start a business, but for Philippa there was no choice. “The recession meant that I came back from some time spent travelling to find that I no longer had a job and couldn’t find another”, she says. “I could claim either Unemployment Benefit or Enterprise Allowance, so I chose the latter”.

Philippa offers new businesses the following advice for long-term business success, “Particularly in a recession, don’t spend too much time worrying about the things you can’t change, but focus on those where you can make a difference. Look for the opportunities there are, and seize them. There will always be a market for well-designed, reliable products at a good price, and clients are always looking for firms they can trust to give them value for money.  Build good working relationships with your clients so that they come back to you when they need something new.  And of course make wise use of IT to minimise your costs!”

Philippa had experience of bespoke software and business, so she set up Software-Matters to provide easy-to-use business software that does exactly what you need it to and can be adapted as the client’s business needs grow or change.  Her aim was to build personal connections and form long-term relationships with clients.  Fifteen years later the company continues to thrive, with several clients still remaining from those early days.  

Philippa says “It’s a good idea to think about your IT systems right from the start.  During a recession, when money is tight, well-designed computer systems can make all the difference.  For example, making sure that the computer is managing any routine admin tasks can cut down staff costs and reduce mistakes. A properly designed system can take the strain out of the accounting side of the business and mean less time spent with, and on, your accountant!  Software-Matters has fifteen years’ experience of helping clients with these issues and would be delighted to help.  For further advice visit our website – Software-Matters 

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