This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Gonna Be A Tough Year Survive '09 by reducing expenses and watching cash flow.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The last year of this decade is shaping up to be the most challenging in a long time for entrepreneurs. A range of statistics, from credit availability to consumer spending, appear to point toward a 2009 that will be, if not a train wreck, at least a time for caution. Economists tracking the indicators say that entrepreneurs have plenty of cause for concern, although not all the indices are negative.

Perhaps the most telling statistic is the sharp increase in the number of business owners planning to reduce business and capital expenses. In August 2008, 49 percent said they intended to cut back, and by October, that figure had risen to 69 percent. "That's huge," says Alice Bredin, a small-business market researcher and advisor to OPEN from American Express Small Business Monitor. "That's a lot of businesses not spending."

Entrepreneurs' lurch toward conservatism appears well-founded, according to many economists who see 2009 shaping up as a year of recession. Official definitions of recessions vary, of course. And recessions often aren't declared until the crisis has passed and growth has resumed. But that's no reason to be sanguine about the likelihood of a full-fledged downturn this year. "I think it'll be deep and serious," says Bud Conrad, chief economist at investment research firm Casey Research.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In