I was talking to a software entrepreneur friend the other day. We were comparing notes on how our businesses were faring during the Great Recession.

My friend said that these days, his business is ‘hunkering down’ and just surviving. If the bills are getting paid and the doors are staying open, that is enough for now.

I’ve had recent conversations like that with other small business people I know in banking, transportation, hospitality, and manufacturing.

The thing he said that encouraged me, though, was this: Once the economy opens up again, there will a marked reduction in the number of competitors in his market. Not everyone will survive. But if you survive, there will come a day when suddenly increased demand coupled with reduced supply (of vendors in the market) will make for a very good business environment.

I think that scenario rings true.

So for many, it’s time to hunker down, survive, and be ready to aggressively expand when the opportunity (someday) comes.

What do you think? Is it time to hunker down, close up shop, or expand now?

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