Economic Downturns Are Good For Business

A few years ago, at the end of Infinity Softworks’ second act as an education company, we decided to raise a round of funding. To make a long story short, I concluded early in the process that that was not possible and abandoned the idea. But two years later, as I watch the news wires for funding deals, a whole bunch of education companies have raised money. While the timing didn’t work out for Infinity Softworks’ education plans, here’s hoping it does for FastFigures and our re-focus on business customers.

Well, that left me thinking. Some of our biggest markets for FastFigures include real estate, financial and investment services. Could we have better timing? Let’s see. A busted real estate bubble, the banking system struggling, and Dow Jones sinking like a lead balloon… great time to sell to those folks!

But the truth is it is a great time to start this business. These problems won’t last forever, and when these problems fade then we will be in a great position to grow with our customers. When everything was easy — when a house sold in a day — no Realtor needed to care about educating their customers about mortgages. The only expertise they needed was to get the offer in fast. Now, with Realtors fighting over a small collection of buyers, education and experience will be the key.

Seth Godin wrote in his post “Looking For a Reason To Hide” a very interesting piece of information: a large chunk of the Inc 500’s fastest growing companies were born in the days following 9/11. From the darkest moments springs new life. It’s true with the tech companies I have watched all my life, too. Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, just to name a few, all born in the dark days of recession.

So we start slow, we put the pieces in place, we learn and listen and take action on that. And then when the market shifts, if we’ve done a good job of learning and listening, then we will be ready and waiting to grow!

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