Innovation

How to Beat the Recession: Laura Hansen

Tried and true strategies from entrepreneurs who've been there, fought back and won

Written by Chris Atchison and Susanne Ruder

LAURA HANSEN

President of Vancouver-based promotional products distributor Image Group Inc.

BEAT THE 1990-1991 RECESSION

FIND HELP THROUGH YOUR PEERS

At the dawn of the early €˜90s recession, Hansen’s firm lost 40% of its revenue from 10% of its clients, largely in the forestry sector. That left Image Group with sales of about $2 million in 1992. Needing to pay deposits to suppliers long before receiving clients’ payment stifled the growing firm’s cash flow. Worse, the firm’s bank switched managers and unexpectedly slashed Image Group’s credit. “There was a lot of stress,” recalls Hansen, who had to lay off her bookkeeper and max out her credit cards to float expenses and meet payroll. “We almost went out of business.” Salvation came by targeting breweries and construction companies that were still spending, and through an executive networking group that helped Hansen find a new accountant, a more accommodating banker and a larger line of credit. Forestry clients subsequently returned, giving Image Group an expanded client base and current revenue of about $9 million.

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Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com