Recession can be good for a well-run business, but it is important to maintain morale, say our experts.

Howard Graham

Founder and chairman of the Made Simple Group, an online support service for small businesses

“Obviously, recession is terrible on a personal level, and lots of businesses go under, but a good business, well run, will come out stronger.

“I am sitting on cash at the moment, but I would have no worries about spending my money if there was the right deal. It doesn’t matter if it is a recession or not. The deal has to be right.

“There are lots of easy things you can do to run your business better. The first thing is to ask for advice. The second thing is to stand back from your business and be really critical about it. Sometimes it is worth having a third party look at it and say how you could do things better.

“You should also work harder with your existing customers and make sure your relationships with them remain good, rather than chasing other business.”

Simone Schehtman

co-founder of Teamworks Karting, a racing track chain

“You have got to remind people that you are out there. We send text messages and emails to customers.

“You also have to work on motivating staff. We have done things like pay for fruit bowls, a masseur and a pool competition. It is about saying: ‘Here is a few hundred quid to have some fun.’”

Rupert Merson

Partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, an accountancy firm

“It is too easy a decision to cut back in hard times although for some companies, they will have no choice about it.

“If you have a choice, a failure to invest is a failure to protect your future. Entrepreneurs are famously more worried about the future than they are about the present. The entrepreneurial thing to do would be to look at the current mess as the source of real opportunity.

“Decent investment needs decent analysis. However, many entrepreneurs would rather rely on their guts than their brains. If the analysis tells you you shouldn’t do it, don’t do it.

“There is also no shame in begging and borrowing when money needs to be spent. You have got to invest, but also look for ways to keep a tight rein on cash.”

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