09/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

If The Recession Didn't Get You, The Recovery Might

Difficult and dangerous times lie ahead. They will test businesses to the limit. I am referring not to the recession -- old news from the viewpoint of the City and the media -- but to the recovery. For while the downturn has had upsides for many companies, an upturn also has downsides.

This column is a little previous. Most businesses see no signs of a bounce back. "We are bumping along the bottom," says veteran entrepreneur John Timpson, touring his 620 home service stores. But hacks are always in a hurry to be first with the news, or an angle on it. We are like party guests who arrive while the hostess is still doing her hair, eat all the nibbles and duck out just as the dancing starts.