“Poised for greatness,” is how business partners Frank Hazzard and Lynne D’Autrechy characterize their web design company’s current state. Like many small business owners, they remain cautiously optimistic about what 2013 might bring.
“There’s no doubt that the past five years have been hard on us, but at least we’re still afloat,” said Hazzard, /buzzquake’s creative lead. “Some of our competitors didn’t survive.”
“Actually, our revenue is up in 2012 over 2011. Things are getting better,” said D’Autrechy, president of /buzzquake.
The great recession of 2008-09 officially ended in second quarter ’09, with economic growth resuming the following quarter. But many small businesses still struggle, according to a report by Barron’s published in September.
“How do you know for sure when a recession is over?” asked D’Autrechy. “Overall I see things slowly improving. We experienced a burst of activity where we won three contracts to build websites in a short period of time, but before that it was sort of slow. I guess that’s how an economy recovers – in fits and starts.”
When the economy resumes in earnest, service companies like /buzzquake stand to do well, according to Barron’s.
“Those web designers still in business will probably see significant growth as soon as demand returns to pre-recession levels,” said Hazzard.
With that in mind, /buzzquake is positioning itself to take advantage of future opportunities.
“We made use of the slow times to improve our company. We spent some of our resources on honing our policies and procedures, upgrading our IT systems and training,” said D’Autrechy.
“I think we’re better prepared to bid on, win and execute pieces of business because of our long-term perspective. It’s a lot like Southwest Airlines after 9/11. If you’ll remember, people were afraid to fly and ticket sales fell off dramatically. All of the other airlines were cutting routes and downsizing in the face of reduced demand. Southwest saw that lull as an opportunity to expand. Expand they did; and it worked out well for them,” said Hazzard.
“All of the small business headlines predict doom and gloom in 2013, mostly because of the fiscal cliff and Obamacare. We don’t see it that way. We think these issues will be resolved and the economic recovery will pick up speed. And we plan to be ready to capitalize on additional opportunities when they present themselves,” said D’Autrechy.
“We’re ready, willing and able,” said Hazzard with a palpable enthusiasm. “I’m thinking we’ll ring the bell in 2013.”