By Thomas Sheffield

According to many economist, a recession is coming.  An inverted yield curve is a good indicator of a recession as the yield of a 10 year bond is less than the yield of a 2 year bond.  A recession will affect the people of color more than any other group.  People in our community are the last ones to feel the effects of a positive economy and the first to feel the effects of a recession.  The fed already cut interest rates to head off the impending recession but that may not be enough.  What can be done to make sure your business is distinct and able to sustain itself while others wither away?  When you have everything to lose, you have to do whatever it takes to be successful.

One way to become more prepared for a recession is to make a sustainability plan to go along with your business plan. It does not matter what kind of business you have.  You could have a service type business with no inventory, a non profit or a brick and mortar store.  A sustainability plan will help to gain and keep a competitive advantage.  It is tiring to keep falling behind and not have anything to show for whatever success we may have had.  To be successful,  you will want to consider enhancing your business plan with the three areas of sustainability: People, Planet and Profit.

People are not only your customers, it includes your employees and the people in the community.  Are you paying your employees a livable wage?  Are your products of good quality and add value to the lives of your customers?  Will the goods or services make the public sick or cause more issues in the future?  Do you support local nonprofits, sponsor little league baseball/football/basketball teams?  Do you encourage your employees to volunteer?  All these things show you care about, and support the people in your community.

Taking care of the Planet will also prove to be profitable.  There are distinct advantages enacting recycling programs, energy conservation, clean air and water initiatives.  These programs will not only save money but will put you in front of any future regulations.  Many cities put laws in place restricting the use of plastic bags, bottles and other plastic products.  When you are proactive in imposing these restrictions on yourself, then you are better prepared for the regulations and laws to come. 

Profitability comes with sustainability.  Good corporate citizenry  shows stockholders you are trustworthy with your profits.  Using profits to invest in your community not only brings value to your company but the community. Studies show people willing to pay more for things if they know your business is a good corporate citizen.   It is not too late to get ready for the future but all indications are a recession is coming.  Are you ready?  Do you want to get ready?  I encourage you to become distinguished and get a sustainability plan now.  

If you feel the need to learn more, feel free to contact me directly at or follow me on Twitter @tcsheff.