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What do companies like GE, HP, Microsoft, CNN, Hyatt and Burger King have in common?  They were all started in economic downturns by entrepreneurs whose passion, commitment, and ability to execute far out-shadowed the temporary economic obstacles.   For the fearful, our current economic environment is an obstacle, for the bold, it is an opportunity.


For those bold entrepreneurs, here are 10 Tips to Starting a Business in This Economy:


1)      Your Idea Must be Fresh and Innovative

Many entrepreneurs have made a fortune on a simple twist or new application on an existing product or service.  Having a great idea is the first critical step of success.


2)      Your Idea Must Compel the Customer to Spend

Customers are more cautious than ever with their purchasing dollar, knowing what makes your product or service irresistible is the key to success in a down economy.


3)      You Must Have an Executable Plan with Clear Objectives

Writing a plan, doing research, and having a well thought out strategy along with realistic projections for revenues and expenses are crucial in an economy where every dollar counts. 


4)      You Must Be a Watch Dog on Costs and Expenses: 

With access to capital scarce in a slow economy; it is more important than ever to cut costs to the bone and make every dollar of revenue count. 


5)      You Must Be Prepared to Sell:

Great sales people are made, not born.  You must learn and apply the essential skills of selling your product or service to succeed and prosper.


6)      Put Your Customer Ahead of Yourself:

Great entrepreneurs know that success is all about serving the customer.  Keep your focus on meeting and exceeding the customer’s needs, and you will not only stand out from the competition, but your customer will reward you for it.


7)      Don’t Go It Alone; Ask For Help:

People love to help others, you just need to ask them! The key to success in any economy is to seek the advice and counsel of experienced business persons in your niche or industry.


8)      Use Leverage to Grow:

Successful entrepreneurs know that big success comes from leveraging their contacts, experiences, relationships and finances.  Learning this critical skill is essential in a struggling economy.


9)      Harness Technology and Social Media:

Pencil and paper entrepreneurship is dead, make sure you are familiar with the latest technology and social media platforms to speed your operational efficiencies, and drive marketing and sales results.


10)  Never Give Up, Never Surrender:

Your ability to motivate yourself and your team is paramount in a tough economy. You must set the course, share the vision and kick it up a notch if you expect to survive and thrive in this economy.  

This Entrepreneurship article was written by Will Corrente on 11/28/2009

Will Corrente – “Helping People Get Where They Want To Go” specializes in small business consulting, entrepreneur coaching, and intrapreneur development. Visit him at: or