How you survive a recession - if that's what it is - probably depends most on your financial health going into the hard times. Here are sites to help deal with a recession, as well as define one.

What recession?

Many look to the National Bureau of Economic Research to pinpoint the start and end of a recession. Problem is, by its own admission, the bureau is in the habit of declaring a recession six to 18 months after one has begun. By that time, it usually is over. "We never consider forecasts," the group declares on its site. Its data history of business cycles from the 1850s is a treasure, though.


Speaking of business cycles, this Web page is an explainer on that subject and many others. It's part of a site designed as a speedy reference - think of its articles as cheat sheets - for business administrators. Hence, its clever name. Subjects packaged for easy digestion include business law, accounting, statistics, and even the esoterica of game theory.


History lesson.

Here's advice from the last recession. This 2002 article advises businesspeople to focus on more than cash flow. One important point is to be good to customers. "We give them the best service ever, the fastest turnaround possible, and the highest quality product we can produce," author Marty McGhie wrote.


Recession winners.

Accenture Ltd., a consulting firm, studied companies that survived and then thrived through the recession of the early 1990s. The study found, basically, that the companies that came out of the recession healthy had been the healthiest, most conservatively run firms going into the hard times. In other words, if this is a recession, you're already in clover - or you're cooked.

The end.

You thought it was just a recession, but at it means . . . yes . . . the end of the world.

Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or