Recession-Busting Business Ideas

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Men on soup kitchen line during great depression
Have you considered a soup kitchen charity event?

OK, so it’s been nearly two years since the financial system went Len Bias on us, and DJs have been struggling to make sense of it ever since. We’re here to help you make sense of it.

Have you tried these recession busters?

During an economic slide, it’s important that your company remains a visible part of the market. With fewer consumer dollars to go around, by simply holding your advertising steady, customers will think that your company–and your brand–is growing. So sponsor that bowling team, or that deck-hockey youth club, and book that county picnic where thousands will be in attendance.

“It gives the perception that your company is stronger than it might really be,” says DJ Sam Hughes. “If the consumer sees your company growing in bad times, in their eyes it means you must be doing something right. It makes the customer trust you more and builds customer confidence.”

Another way to insure future business is to be charitable, but carefully. “A recession is a good opportunity to spread goodwill,” says DJ Alex Koros. “We had a local credit union that we used to DJ for every year. Since the recession in the fall of 2008, their finances have plummeted. They had to cancel their Christmas party and do an informal barbecue instead. I took it upon myself to call them up and ask how they were doing. I said I knew they’d fallen on hard times and offered to donate a little time for their company barbecue. I did this because they were very, very good clients to us. It was a very big account for us. They would use us for everything. Their barbecue fell on a slow day so I thought it would be nice to give back a little. They thought it was very generous of us, but they always gave us so much business it was the least we could do. I would only suggest doing that if a DJ has an exceptional client. And also, in this way, I know that we’ll be the first DJ company they call when business picks up again.”

Having a hand in everything can make hard times easier to get through because you’re less vulnerable. In military parlance, it’s called defending your flank. “Targeting different market segments helps your company stay strong,” says DJ Ryan. “We don’t focus on just weddings. We do schools and company parties as well as weddings. Our strategy is to make sure we’re diversified, rather than relying on any one market. We’ve gotten a lot of repeat business in the schools.”

Looking at market segments you may have ignored in better times is a good start. “We’ve been going after more weekday stuff, elementary and middle schools, Sweet 16s, sending out game-show mania flyers,” says DJ Seth. “Trivia games are good for student council fun-fair events. Seasonal trivia works for fifth and sixth graders, Cartoon Network trivia works for younger kids.”

So, remain visible, be charitable, and diversify, and ask yourself, are you ready for the recovery?