The Power of the Pivot: Is Your Business Recession-Proof?



I speak regularly these days with business owners and buyers who have concerns about the market, and specifically, about how their business might fare in a potential recession. I have many examples I can share with them about the businesses Viking is currently selling and what makes them recession-resistant; but in addition to that, I can share from my own experience. I have owned and sold multiple businesses, and that includes owning a business through a recession and coming out the other side even stronger than before.


No one can promise you a recession-proof business. But you can certainly make your business recession-resistant. My advice: lean into the power of the pivot.


Pivoting in ‘08-09

In 2007, I bought a business that primarily served the construction industry. Then the market crashed. Do you remember what happened to residential and commercial construction in 2008-09? It stopped. How could my company survive when our entire existing client base was at a standstill?


We had to pivot.


We had to evaluate who else could use our services (and which of those sectors were not also in a downturn). Where could we pivot our business in order to endure the recession?


Our company pivoted to serve the education and healthcare sectors, and by doing so, we no longer had to depend on business from the hard-hit construction industry. While we were certainly concerned that we had lost some business, by the next year, we ended up ranking #5 in the world for the franchise. All because we pivoted.


Pivoting Today

What about today? Be assured, there is still power in a pivot. Let’s come back to the construction industry, for example. I work with business owners from Wilmington to Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head Island and everywhere in between as the Managing Partner in Viking’s Charleston, SC, market. The coastal Carolinas are a secondary home location for a lot of business owners. In today’s climate, however, folks here may not be opting to build a new home when, under other circumstances, perhaps they would have bought a second or third home. But it’s not a total loss; pivoting your perspective reveals that these homeowners are instead remodeling or adding onto their current homes.


What does that mean? It means service-related businesses are still thriving. Businesses in HVAC, plumbing, electric, and the like, are not afraid of a recession right now. Homeowners need them and businesses need them; and you can help make your business recession-resistant by pivoting toward them.


With the right pivot, the market is still strong, and a good business is still a good business.


Prepare now for a potential downturn in the economy so that you’re not as negatively impacted by what may come. How do you pivot your business?

  • Allow yourself to consider business avenues that you haven’t explored much before.
  • Identify who else may benefit from the services or solutions your company provides.
  • Explore how you might shift your offerings to better service the complementary sectors identified above.
  • Prioritize the opportunities that stand to thrive through a potential recession.


If you’re a business owner and you’d like to discuss your potential pivots, reach out to us for a confidential consultation. We also offer a no-cost valuation that can provide valuable information about the current state of your business. Contact Viking today; we’re here to help.