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Building a Business In & Out of Recession

By Gordon Dutch, Lee Baker & Ian Sempers


This is the first blog we have all collaborated on, although we have a few more planned. Bearing in mind the current situation many of us find ourselves in due to COVID-19, we felt that this would be a good one to start with.

All three of us have worked both in and out of recessions and been successful in doing so. Gordon started his first retail business in 1990 and BBG Distribution in 1993, which was one of the worst recessions on record. Ian’s timing was similar and all three of us worked during the banking crisis of 2008/9 and are now launching Re-Sauce during what will be another testing time for sure.

Building a business during a recession has some major obstacles, but some major advantages as well. In 1990, it was difficult for many reasons, the global economy was failing badly and so it was tough to get momentum, but if you had the right product, it could still be done. However, you had to be nimble and committed.

Gordon’s product area back in the 1990’s was Car Audio, which was a hot category at that time and Ian’s was Overhead Projectors for use with the first LCD panels. Midwich was an IT distributor for print and Computing products and, in 1990, introduced a trade only policy and moved into AV distribution. Midwich was also one of the first to bring in and sell digital cameras with LCD screens. So, all three companies chose to focus on the right products at the right time.

Running a business at any time you need to be careful, but especially in recession. You can have a good customer one minute, who might be gone the next and that can leave you with some significant issues. From a bad debt, to lost revenue and even an unfulfilled project that needs finishing. Therefore, all three of us tend to have not only a plan A, but a B and C as well, just in case.

Keeping costs under control is always important to your business and critical in recession. Knowing when to spend money and on what is also key. Again, due to our previous business experience, we have all carefully chosen the times to invest and diversify.

Successful diversification is key to any business that is looking for growth and stability. Too often you see a fantastic business fail, because they were either too entrenched in one market or too reliant on one major customer.

Gordon moved into home audio and home cinema as those categories were growing and as car audio was waning. He saw that built-in car systems with navigation would massively impact the car audio aftermarket. Ian moved into Interactive Flat Panel Displays and, in the early 2000’s, Midwich started selling technical AV products, and then went international, floating in 2016 to fund its growth and acquisition strategy. 

None of these diversifications were an ‘accident’, they all had to be carefully planned and executed, especially during recessional times. If you feel that you need the help of a team who have all built their businesses both inside and out of recessions, then give us a call or mail us hello@re-sauce.net

At Re-Sauce we believe that our knowledge, experience and expertise can save you an awful lot of time, energy and money, by knowing when and where to spend money, and on what.

I hope you enjoyed our first joint blog and watch out for another one next Friday.

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Here’s what our Industry Colleagues say about us...

Peerless-AV would like to pay tribute to the incredible work Gordon and his team have done since 2009. It’s sales and brand awareness since we launched Peerless-AV EMEA in 2009 has been massive. Gordon’s strategic leadership and incredible work ethic, along with the dynamic leadership of a best-in-class team, which he assembled, has led Peerless-AV to the forefront of the AV businesses.

John Potts

Global President & CEO of Peerless-AV

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