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Ten Steps to Thrive in 2011

Try these forward-thinking strategies to improve your business now.

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This story appears in the December 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Economists say the Great Recession--the longest and deepest since World War II--ended 18 months ago and that the U.S. economy is, in fact, growing again. But growth is relative. Even the rosiest economic forecasts for 2011 come in well under 3 percent growth. Unemployment is still high, and consumer spending is still sluggish.

"However optimistic you may be about your business, you need to let the overall economy temper your expectations," says Scott Shane, an economics professor at Case Western Reserve University and author of The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors and Policy Makers Live By. "You need to assume that the recovery is going to be tepid and plan accordingly."

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