From Inc. This Morning, Cameron Albert-Deitch
Carey Smith knows how to remain optimistic and find unique opportunities, even through extremely difficult times.
In 1999, Smith founded Big Ass Fans--which sells, you guessed it, large fans--and grew it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. The company landed on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies 11 consecutive years--including through the heart of the 2007-08 financial crisis--before Smith sold it for $500 million in 2017. “Don’t be a victim,” he told business owners on Wednesday, during Inc.’s latest Real Talk: Business Reboot webinar.
Of course, flourishing during a recession is far easier said than done. Smith offered some concrete advice on achieving that goal. For example: Avoid layoffs at all costs. He noted that while reducing payroll is an obvious cost-saver, it’s difficult to hire people back later--and that when your financial situation improves, you'll be glad to still have your full staff present.
“Layoffs are the losers’ way out,” he said, noting that during the recession, he cut money from product development and bonuses to avoid reducing headcount. “The fact that we kept everybody on and the fact that we all suffered equally, I think, set us up for the next 10 years.”
That’s just the start. Read our story to learn Smith’s three strategies for leading your business through an economic crisis. You can also watch video clips of the event’s highlights.