With the recent developments in the economic landscape, Albertans have experienced significant change. Companies have seen a decrease in sales and are right sizing their operations to be affordable, yet meet the current demand. More than 70,000 Albertans have been affected by company restructuring and they are looking for their next opportunity.

In many cases, the next opportunity may lie in starting up their own business. But is it the right time? Everyone is cutting back.

A number of strong and vibrant companies started during an economic downturn. Microsoft, FedEx, Hyatt Hotels, and Smashburger are a part of a long list of companies that started during an economic downturn. Here are 5 suggestions on how you can make your startup a success.

Lean and Mean

Seeing that “times are tough,” your first priority should be to run your business within a strong and realistic budget. That skill will become valuable in the future.


Are you stuck in a pattern of running your business the way you always have? This is the time to re-examine your strategies and processes.


For many companies, their first reaction to a slowdown in sales is to cut their marketing budget. Look at this as an opportunity to get your message in front of your target market with less noise from the competition.


Spend more time with your current clients and target market. Get to know them on a deeper level. Find out what their pinch points are and reverse engineer them.


Listen to your customers and use that knowledge to improve your offerings. Maybe use that information to create a new product line or service offering?

Be realistic! Start a new product line because it is within your budget and it solves a problem for your target market. You have limited resources. Remember when you develop a new product or offering, you are taking resources away from your core product.

An economic downturn is a fruitful time to start up a new venture. This was my perspective when I started my business in the last recession of 2008-09. This is your opportunity to be open to new ways of thinking, and build on what you have.