Recession benefits one Texas small business

May 18, 2009

This is part of a series of personal accounts about small business and the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content.

by Michelle L Devon

If there is a recession going on, I hadn’t noticed. At Christmas, I was the only member of my family to purchase gifts for everyone. My mother said, “It’s been a hard year for everyone.”

“Not for me,” I answered. Business is going great for me.

That’s one of the good things about owning a small business that provides contract services. When a recession hits and layoffs happen, companies merge employee duties so one person takes on the role of two, without additional compensation.

Unfortunately, companies become overextended. With layoffs, there aren’t enough people to do the jobs required. That’s where my business lends a hand.

I opened Accentuate Services, my small business in Odessa, Texas, more than 14 years ago to offer accounting, bookkeeping, transcription and administrative services to other companies. Companies outsource projects requiring extra manpower and pay me a good wage for it. My business earns $30 to $75 per hour spent on clients’ projects.

I save them on overhead, supplies, salaries and employee fringe benefits. When the project ends, I move on, and the company saves money.

For me, the recession has generated more business than I can handle. I used to average one to three requests for quotes on projects per week. During this recession, I average one to three requests for quotes per day.

In 14 years, I’ve never been as busy as the last few months. I’m turning away people or referring them to others.

About six years ago, Accentuate expanded to offer editing and writing services, Internet marketing, promotion, keywording and publishing consulting. The Internet is changing how small businesses operate; less flexible small businesses are faring worse. I operated outside the recession’s reach.

With only three employees, my business is inundated with requests for price quotes and those seeking employment. Without the manpower to quote new projects and complete existing ones, we’ve sought subcontractors. Weeding through the hundreds of applications is quite a task in itself.

While the rest of the country talks about how money is tight and jobs are scarce, my business has boomed and benefited from the recession. I’m glad we are able to offer side jobs and help to those struggling.

I feel as long as we stay up with the changing climate of today’s economy, my small business will continue to do well in any market. Most small businesses will likely weather this recession in much better shape than their larger counterparts.

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