The economy right now is tough. Everyone knows that, and almost everyone is in the same boat. So you have a few choices: you can mope and be depressed about our economic circumstances, or you can put yourself in a position to succeed when the economy inevitably rebounds.

Inc. Magazine’s excellent 25 Ways to Jump Start Your Business offers some great suggestions. Keep  having meetings with prospective clients–even if you know that they won’t buy right now. Stay away from a hard-sell approach, and instead be sympathetic: “I know times are tough right now, but I still wanted to talk with you about your business, and find if perhaps there are ways that we could serve you in the future.” Build those relationships now, and they’ll pay off down the road.

Take advantage of the cheap labor market. With work scarce, even experienced workers are willing to take low-paying jobs, or even unpaid internships. Again, cultivate these relationships, and when the economy picks back up, you’ll have the option of taking on a full-time, experienced employee who’s glad for the help you provided them during a rough patch.

I know that it feels counter intuitive, but now is the time to be proactive. Now is the time to be taking risks and preparing for our economy to bounce back. Things will get better, and when they do, you’ll be ready while your competitors are left in the dust.