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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. 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 , you need to let the overall economy temper your expectations," says Scott Shane, an professor at Case Western Reserve University and author of The Illusions of : 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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