THE BLOG
04/01/2009 03:50 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The New Power Girls: Women Entrepreneurs and Executives Speak Up About The Recession

In September 2008, I launched the second startup of my entrepreneurial career, 9, with two clients signed and the promise that what I envisioned would work. Two months later, our country's financial system imploded and threw all of us into what many called the "worst recession in history."

I can recall instantly thinking we'd need reposition to adjust and got right on it.

Within a month's time, I conducted enough research to determine a plan that would help pad 9 during the turmoil and repositioned to fit it. I instantly cut back on all overhead and expenses, and later raised a small round of capital in case needed. In addition, I took time to think through what markets might sustain or remain viable, and started the groundwork towards them. By January, we not only had a new client signed but up to four meetings a day every day for several weeks regarding new business.

Themomentrepreneur.com founder Traci Bisson ramped up and implemented new marketing ideas to grow her company in other ways. Diane Helbig of Seize This Day Coaching advises to create refocus on how your product or service is needed not just wanted and form strategic alliances.

"I choose not to participate in the recession," said Debra Freligh of DMF Media Services. "There are plenty of opportunities out there. Seek and you shall find. Look at things as you never have before."

Today's business women notice there's turmoil going on. Then, they get back to business.

It's a sentiment I've heard from a large number of women entrepreneurs and executives. The going might get tough, but they keep going - and are thriving in the process. Bisson looks for different opportunities to connect with her or another market to further her audience. Founder Karen Bullard of Karen Cole Paper cut spending and found new ways of revenue, including licensing her designs to other manufacturers. Monique Hayward of Dessert Noir Cafe and Bar reaches out to media to reach customers. "I've been even more vigilant about finding opportunities because they cost nothing but time," she said.

"Partner up with a non-competing business and work leads as a team," added Freligh.

While not everybody's an entrepreneur, recession-proofing and business growth strategies used by the new modern women entrepreneurs can be applicable to unemployed and displaced workers. Looking for opportunities in new areas, leveraging the internet to expand your marketability to employers and networking within your market can all help expand your chances of finding work. Most of all, keep at it.

"Don't give up, just keep plugging away," said Bullard. "It may be at a slower, cheaper pace but keep going."

This held true for entrepreneur Melanie Notkin, founder of SavvyAuntie.com, who thought of the company idea while in between jobs and contemplating what to do next. "We need the quiet of being on our own to hear dreams "speak" to us - and really take the time to listen, she shared. "That's why I think now is the best time to start a company." Or, new career.

Power Girls don't take lemons and make lemonade, but expand their work in every way to create the world they want versus settling for the one handed to them.