The recession won’t last forever — so get ready

cleaningIt’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the economy is tanking, but recent headlines suggest that recovery isn’t so far off — and that means small businesses better dust themselves off and brace for a turnaround.

According to small biz expert Rieva Lesonsky, all the inventory-slashing, staff-paring and morale-squashing that’s been the norm of late is bound to backfire when consumers wake up from their recession-induced spending coma and come a-knockin’.

So what’s a small business owner to do in the meantime? Lesonsky offers the following tips:

Play nice: Demoralized staffers will be the first out the door when the economy picks up again. If you want to keep them (and save yourself the time and expense of hiring a new person), treat them like a valued member of the team.

Make smart investments: Now’s the time to revisit contracts with suppliers and vendors to hammer out the best available deal. It’s also an ideal time to upgrade outdated technology and refresh depleted inventories, if possible. Customers who can’t find what they want will go elsewhere.

from Trading Places:

Unemployment jumps, but is the economy finding its floor?

Markets might have rallied on relief that the jobs data this morning wasn't worse than expected, but there's no getting away from the fact that an 8.5 percent unemployment rate is an ugly number. The March jobs figures showed U.S. employers slashed 663,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate was the highest since 1983. Here is some reaction from the market:

"It's telling you we're in a deep recession and it's still going to be a while to get out of it, especially on the employment side of things. But you have to keep in mind that this is a lagging indicator, we're going to get bad employment numbers, along with the employment rate, even if the economy is starting to turn."

"The report does not contradict the growing notion that the economy is finding a bottom. Employment will not turn on a dime and certainly there's no sign of strength, but at least it's not getting worse and worse and worse."