Recession Breeds Efficiency

Features - Strategies

Small businesses have become more productive.

September 22, 2009
Nicole Wisniewski

Small business owners say the recession is pushing them to be more efficient and innovative and cultivate stronger teams, according to a survey from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of small businesses are finding new ways to operate more efficiently during the economic downturn.

“Like most of us as individuals reacting to the recession, small businesses have made significant adjustments to their finances,” says Roy Dunbar, chairman and CEO of Network Solutions. “In doing so, they are showing characteristic resilience and creativity.”

The survey was based on a June 2009 telephone survey of 500 owners of private small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Small business owners’ outlook is also up from six months ago, with 38 percent of owners expecting the economy to improve in the next 12 months, compared to 23 percent in January. In June, 28 percent of small business owners expected the economy to decline in the next year, compared to nearly half (48 percent) six months ago.

“Even though many owners have suffered a reduction in income from their businesses, their passion and optimism remain high,” Dunbar says.

And 42 percent of small business owners think the turbulent economy has caused their companies to strengthen internal teams, and the same percentage are offering new products and services to help customers.

“Those taking actions to become more efficient in what they do and getting better at working in teams are also the ones who are externally focused on their customer base to introduce new products and services that benefit their customers,” says P.K. Kannan, director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “These will be the companies that thrive when the economy recovers.”







 The author is editor of Lawn & Landscape. Reach her at