Strategies for 2009

So now that 2009 is underway, what is the best way to strategically position an entrepreneurial venture?

Kristin Wehner writes at about the need to move away from exploiting specific opportunities, what she calls a “hunter”, and become more of an “explorer.”

As the new year unfolds, try donning your explorer’s cap. View the upcoming year with the curiosity and excitement of an adventurer embarking on new terrain. Is your business where you want it to be? Do your daily practices for cultivating your health support your professional goals? How about your personal goals?

How are you supporting or sabotaging your ability to achieve those goals? What untapped potential is within you? The answers lie in an assessment of your company’s health capital.

Bootstrapping will be key to survival in 2009, according to Mike Stull at the

While economic chaos brings great opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs, how can one launch and grow a business in times when credit is crunched?

One possible approach is bootstrapping – starting a business where the primary funding comes from the cash flow generated by selling your product or service. A bootstrapped business starts with investment from the founder (and possibly close friends and family).

In addition to paying close attention to cash flow and collections, Tom Taulli at Blogging Stocks thinks now is time to find a good advisor to help navigate the troubled waters ahead.

It’s critical that you get an outside perspective — especially from someone who has experienced tough economic periods. To this end, you can go to a local SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business) office. The organization consists of thousands of former executives — and, importantly, the resource is free.

If you are what I call a reluctant entrepreneur, someone who suddenly is thrust into self-employment due to corporate downsizing, this article at the New York Times offers advice on both positioning and tactics you will want to follow this year.

It’s likely that as in past recessions, many new small businesses will be created in the coming year as laid off workers rethink their careers. How will these businesses survive, along with all the other small businesses already struggling out there? Only by being cunning and cost smart say experts in business and entrepreneurship.

Finally, if you have been sitting on the fence about becoming an entrepreneur, Marc Kramer at thinks it is less risky to start a business than to put your trust in a traditional corporate job.

When I graduated from college in 1982, interest rates were in the high teens and companies were beginning to treat employees not as family, but as disposable parts. I watched friends’ fathers lose longtime jobs and wonder how they were going to support their families. They felt betrayed, as if their wife had left them for another man.

Even out of college, at the tail end of the paternal corporate employer, the real risk-takers, at least from my perspective, were the people who worked for one company. It was like buying one stock and believing that stock was going to grow and support you in retirement. There’s little worse, especially for a man, than losing your job, if your self-worth is tied up in your work. Your identity is based on who you work for and your position.

Being an entrepreneur means no one can fire you.