Extreme caution and retrenchment are often the default responses to a difficult economic environment. When times are tough, many business owners go into a defensive crouch, and wait. But think about it; if your competitors are all on defense, what you do now will make you stand out, and put you ahead of the curve when the cycle turns.
Use slack time to review your policies and procedures; design and implement plans for employee recruitment and retention; and evaluate and strengthen your client and vendor relationships.
Identify opportunities to expand market share or enter new markets. The well-timed acquisition of a competitor can be a cost-effective way to expand your market, or enter a new one, and position you to to capitalize on a rebound in demand.