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Recession - Friend or Foe?

We as people are all effected by our surroundings. If this known statement is true, then why should we treat our businesses any different? Businesses are built, with the basic principal of providing a quality service or product, while earning a profit. In order to do this, companies have created processes, hired personnel, built relationships, created effective marketing campaigns, and in recent years implemented technology to assist with productivity. Although each of these factors will affect the business in some way, each decision must take the environment in which the business exists into consideration.

In speaking to clients in all verticals from insurance, to finance, to manufacturing - a common theme emerges; the dreaded recession. This being the case, I've taken the time to research and better understand the current economic environment and its effect on business as a whole. This article speaks to what has been learned, and how to effectively navigate the recession so that it may be viewed as an opportunity rather than a crisis.

An interesting fact that was uncovered is that more millionaires were created in times of recession than any other time in history. This fact is somewhat confusing. I've come from a family of small business owners, and was always taught to fear the recession. People lose their jobs, their homes, and their possessions. We were taught to buckle down and hide … better to live to fight another day. If this lesson, which was so embedded in my upbringing, is so true, how could such profit be gained by the fortunate ones who have become wealthy through times of hardship? What did they do different?

Through many discussions with clients on the topic, I was fortunate enough to speak to an entrepreneur who had a refreshing view of the recession. He asked a question that seemed simple at the time. If he had picked up my family, from our suburban home, dropped us in Time Square, New York, and instructed us to rebuild our life, what would we do?

I immediately began with the obvious responses:

  • Sell our cars in response to the high auto ownership costs in Manhattan
  • Find a suitable job that was within commuting distance
  • Minimize my spending to offset the increased housing costs
  • Find a suitable school for my children


My wise colleague pointed out that each of these responses required me to change the way I live in order to deal with the environment that I was placed in. He continued to show the parallels in the business world, and how we as business professionals have effectively built our businesses so that they prosper in the environment in which we practice.

The recession is viewed as nothing more than a change in the business environment. And while there was reason to fear the recession, that fear should be reserved for those without the power to implement change.

I understand that change is a scary thought, but fear can be a fabulous motivator. Fear warns us when we are in trouble, and in some cases, forces us in directions that we may not have gone in times of comfort and relaxation. Comfort is warm and cozy but I've never heard of it described as motivating.

Those with the power and the motivation to change their business to match the current economic environment have nothing to fear. They simply adjust. They trim some fat, make smart decisions, add processes, and modify strategies to meet the recession head on.

Another individual compared the recession to a massive wave, and the business owner to a man in a tiny canoe. Two choices exist: hang on to the sides and pray you survive; or do something about it. Paddle to shore, add a motor, or build a better boat. I would imagine that the man who simply held on in his canoe may possibly make it through (a little cold and wet but he will recover); The man who decided to build the stronger boat … he has a better product, a proof of concept … and has built a larger, stronger business through the recession.

One rule that has not been affected is that we cannot implement change without knowing where we are, and where we need to go. Tools need to be implemented to help professionals better understand their business and how to respond to changes with agility and speed. They need to minimize redundancies, maximize efficiencies and offer better quality than their competitor who is simply holding on for dear life.

At Virtual Claims Adjuster, we have been providing our clients with these tools for quite some time. It is why they flourish, and become leaders. It is why they are, and will continue to be sought out by their client base. This is also why we have become worldwide leaders in the claims management software industry and is why we continue to earn over 20% of our business through client referrals.

We are no different than our clients who we hold in such high esteem. We also are required to implement change; we have been required to change our processes and business roadmap in response to the changing environment. Our goal is to provide our clients with the opportunity to implement effective change in their business with minimal risk. We have done this by implementing the following promotions:

  • Absolutely no startup costs; in order to minimize your cost component
  • Low monthly payments per user help to maximize cash flow
  • 30 day guarantee allows you to terminate should you not be satisfied within the first 30 days
  • Included IT infrastructure management, hosting and development costs
  • 60 day walk away terms allow you to terminate service at any point should your business roadmap change


At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself which person are you? Are you holding on to the sides of your canoe, or are you looking to build a better boat?

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