The seemingly constant strain of poor economic news has taken on a life of its own as "gloom fatigue" causes business people to make excuses for their poor performance and lose focus on innovation, Tony Featherstone writes. Rather than getting down in the dumps, small-business owners should use this time to tweak their operations and strategy, amp up marketing efforts and focus on serving customers, he writes. "It's amazing how surpassing customer expectations, and getting good comments, can revitalise even the most negative people."

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