Evaluating diversification

Making changes during tough times can help you beat the competition

It's often said, "The grass is always greener on the other side." This phrase has additional appeal during lean times, especially when "green" has the face of George Washington.

A recession tends to bring out the entrepreneur in everyone. Business owners see opportunities in areas they haven't considered, and business models are turned upside down. Often, declining revenues in one market spark creativity and inspiration to try something new or diversify. Finding ways to leverage your existing experience to tap into a more lucrative market is a matter of defining your company's competitive advantage in a new way.

Examples

Many roofing contractors have responded to the recession by evaluating ways to apply their skills in new markets. D.C. Taylor Co., a national roofing contractor based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has had a huge swing in business during the past two years.

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