19 Methods To Help Your Business Survive & Prosper In A Recession

Posted: April 14, 2009 in How Your Business Can Survive & Prosper

I’m in the middle of a blog series I’m calling, “38 Methods (From 38 Experts) To Help Your Business Survive & Prosper In A Recession.” 

Since we just reached the half-way point, below is a list of the first 19 methods so far.  (Method 20 – the first of the next 19 methods is listed below this one.) 

Each of the methods below is just one of the many methods each of these experts revealed in their interviews in my e-manuals.

How To Win One Of 30 Sets Of My E-manuals:
For the rest of the blog series, I will be giving away 30 sets of my two e-manuals called, “How Your Business Can Survive And Prosper In A Recession.”  to 6 winners.  

Why does each winner get 5 sets of the e-manuals?  You can have one of the sets for yourself and give away 4 sets on your blog to your twitter followers, or to your customers.

How to enter to win:

1. Post a comment below and tell me your favorite of the first 19 methods listed here.
2. I will put all of the entries on separate slips of paper, mix them up and draw the winners.
3. I will draw and announce the first 2 winners on April 22nd.  On that day, I will also announce how the next two people can win a set.

Now here are the first 19 methods in this series…


1. Focus … focus … focus.

“The biggest benefit of focusing is the status you gain almost instantly. Since I just help people grow their businesses with postcard advertising, I’m an expert on the subject. I have a huge advantage over my competition because I appear to have all the answers (I don’t have 100% of the answers, but shhh … let’s keep that one between you and me).

“I know a local guy who’s the expert on custom building race bikes for tri-athletes. He charges $1,000 for an hour’s consultation PLUS the cost of the bike. That’s all he does. And he’s always booked.

“He’s laser-focused on one niche. Don’t ask him about your cousin’s Huffy – he has no clue. But stand in line if you’re looking to win the Iron man competition in Hawaii this year because this guy will craft a bike to give you the edge.

“Most struggling companies think they have to expand their line of products and services when times get tough. When times got tough for me, I focused on what I do best, and now my business is growing faster than I ever dreamed.“

Markus Allen is the former publisher of “The $10,000 Marketing Tip of the Day” which was a daily e-mail newsletter offering tips, ideas, and strategies guaranteed to generate $10,000 in new business in 7 weeks (or less).


2. Become more conservative, just like everybody does.  (This is one of the common mistakes most businesses make that the experts also shared.)

“The best analogy is real estate. When everybody is afraid and stops buying real estate, that obviously creates the best bargains. This is the best time to buy.

“When you’re operating a business, this is the best time to pick up new customers when your competitors are hunkering down and stopping their advertising.

“Increase your customer service and use new and innovative ways of capturing customers. When you come out of it, you’ll have a bigger market share, and dramatically increase your business.”

Robert Allen is the author of two of the largest selling financial books in history; both #1 New York Times best sellers — read by millions of people in the past 20 years.


3. Remember: first, last and always, you are in the I.T.C.H. business.

“You scratch enough people’s ITCH, and they will beat a path to your door. I.T.C.H. stands for Information, Transportation, Communication and Help.

“Provide useful information. Help transport people from where they are to where they want to be. Communicate often and with value. Help people get more of what they want, and less of what they don’t want.

“Do these things and you will always be sought after.”

Mitch Axelrod  is the founder of Axelrod & Associates, a West Orange, New Jersey sales and marketing consulting firm, and Axelrod Learning, a publisher of entrepreneurial and life skills training, workshops & materials.


4. Offer prospective customers a free sample.

“From a test-drive in a new Mercedes to a food sample on a Saturday at the grocery store, offering a free sample is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to get a new customer.

“When I convinced a business-to-business travel agency to offer free samples of its services to CEOs, it added $5 million in annual, recurring revenues.

“Ask yourself this question: What can you do that you’re not already doing to help customers experience the value of what you offer before they commit to buy?”

David Garfinkel is the author of , “Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich” & Founder, World Copywriting Institute. He is frequently sought out by the media for his expertise on marketing, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company, Home Office Computing and dozens of other newspapers, magazines and trade journals throughout the U.S.


5. Leverage assets of other companies.

“For example, a credit card company takes applications and rejects 70% of the people who apply.

“Most companies ignore these people who just asked for a credit card.   These people are valuable to other companies with credit related products, and the same logic can apply to your business.

“You might buy or rent this list and do a focused offer for your product.”


Declan is an internet consultant, sales trainer, online designer and web publisher. He’s the author of “Winning the Affiliate Game” and “The Complete, Insider’s Guide To Affiliate and Associate Programs”.


6. Use Frequency.

Your best friend was once a stranger.  The reason that person knows, likes, and trusts you more than anyone else is because you communicated with him/her more frequently than the other people in your life.  Right?

“Do this with your Evangelical customers.  Write them and let them know how much you care.

“Remember:  It’s better to send 8 messages to 1,000 prospects, than 1 message to 8,000.  Frequency builds trust.”

Alex Mandossian has helped clients to generate over $183 million in sales from TV spots, infomercials, QVC and Home Shopping Network, national retail catalogs, space ads in Parade Magazine and USA Weekend, direct mail, Web marketing, and postcard mailings.


7. Tap the enormous referral power of existing customers.

“Keep in mind that they are all members of a church, a business, a club or a school and that they have a huge referral network of their own.

“Gaining access to that network can mean serious profits to you.”

Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, “Guerrilla Marketing,” plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.


8. During good times the “greed” factor is the motivating force and all too many businesses direct their advertising toward the inherent “greed” in the society offering products and/or services directed toward giving their customers something-for-nothing.  During bad times the “need” factor is the motivating force.

Therefore, the best money making opportunities during bad times are those that fulfill a ‘real’ need.”

Over the past 30 years, J.F. Straw has written well over 300 books, booklets, manuals, reports, courses and articles about doing business all based on his own personal, hands-on experience. His writings are “specific” methods, techniques and approaches to doing business that anyone can use to start or expand their business.


9. Catch Amnesia

“Forget how great you and your business performed last year.  The past is the past.

“This year it’s a new game. The rules have changed and the players are different.  What worked last year will not return the same results.

“Constantly re-evaluate your industry, competition and economic conditions. From this research, modify your strategy to improve sales and profitability.”

Dennis Sommer is the founder and CEO of Executive Business Advisers, a management consulting firm specializing in sales and profit improvement. Dennis is a successful entrepreneur, management consultant and business leader. Dennis is a highly sought after keynote and seminar speaker on sales, leadership and business best practices. Dennis is an international author, publishing over 70 articles on sales, leadership, project management and IT management topics. He is the publisher of The Executive Adviser.


10. Become an expert.

“Most business owners are perceived as product hawkers and willingly accept the role.

“If you want to increase consumer confidence and increase the value and emotional connection you deliver, you must become an expert. Experts educate and provoke thought. They enable others to make solid decisions.

“Your expertise will demonstrate why your product or service is the best choice. Experts deliver value without regard to making sales. They don’t keep score and they don’t stop when they’re busy.

“Experts are committed and passionate about educating the world and they pursue that goal relentlessly and are rewarded handsomely.”

Jimmy Vee & Travis Miller are the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers and specialize in helping business owners, executives and sales professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit double their customer base and become a recognized leader in their industry in 12 months or less. They believe that every business should be ESP-Enjoyable, Simple and Prosperous. Vee and Miller are the co-authors of “Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers” (Wiley).


11. Do at least one thing to actively promote the business each day.

I like Yanik’s method.  It’s simple and proactive!
Yanik Silver is a “results-only” direct response copywriter and marketing consultant whose specialty is creating powerful tools and resources for entrepreneurs to enhance their businesses.


12. Client Acquisition: Make sure you know exactly who your customers are.

“Find the answers to the following questions too, and act upon that information:

  • What is your product in the eyes of your customers?
  • Are your Client Acquisition (Marketing) methods consistently effective on a daily basis?
  • How can you more efficiently communicate your message to more of your Target Market?
  • Where can you strengthen your follow-through with your aftermarket and referral programs?”

Michael Gerber is the author of the best-selling “The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” and the newly updated “E-Myth Revisited”, which was voted #1 by Inc. 500 CEOs.


13. Take advantage of little things to make you stand out from the crowd.

“Send ‘Thank You’ notes to every client and after every contact that results in a no-sale. They’ll remember you when it counts.”

Tom Hopkins is a sales legend. His material transcends a wide variety of cultures and has been translated into eleven foreign languages. He has personally trained over three million students on five continents.


14. Go after the big fish.

“Or in some cases, the big salami.  Take Boar’s Head Brand Provisions Company.  Why is it that this small deli meat manufacturer can sell lunchmeat for four times what their biggest competitor charges?

“It’s because Boar’s Head Brand focuses on the most lucrative markets.  When they meet with high level executives, they don’t talk lunchmeat; rather, they drive home how they’re going to increase profit margins, reduce overhead, and bring about greater productivity. (Oh yah, it also doesn’t hurt that they have quality products.)”

Performance Based Results president Paul Cherry has 20 years experience in sales training, leadership development, sales coaching and leadership coaching. To date, Paul Cherry has trained and coached over 1,200 organizations in every major industry ranging from family-owned small businesses to medium-sized businesses to leading Fortune 500 companies. 84% of clients report on average a 12:1 ROI from his training programs as the emphasis is on reinforcement and accountability. He is also one of the foremost experts on sales questioning methods and techniques.


15. Use new avenues of marketing and promotion. 

“Make the most of the free and low-cost ways to market.  For example, send press releases, e-mail promotions and personal phone calls.  Give tele-seminars.

“Instead of sending e-mail promotions, send a series of cards (http://tinyurl.com/22wfy7) with valuable tips that they can use for their business.  For example, instead of sending a list of 10 tips, write one tip on a card, and send out 10 cards.  It’s so easy, and people love to get mail.

“I find they remember and keep the cards, too, so they see my name frequently – all year long. You want them to call you when they’re ready to buy.”

Jan Wallen is a LinkedIn consultant and trainer for executives, professionals and business owners, and author of “LinkedIn Works! – Find Clients, Jobs, Talent and Answers”. Jan is in demand for her hands-on, energetic and interactive style that gives her clients and audiences real-time results. Jan has trained hundreds of executives, consultants, managers and business owners, managed a national selling skills program for partners and sr. consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and implemented a CRM system for a sales force there. Jan’s forte: Creating compelling conversations and strategies for you to use with your clients – especially in challenging sales situations. So it’s a No-Brainer for your clients to work with you – now. Call her when you want to know exactly what to say.


16. If you haven’t been studying and using classic salesmanship in your marketing, do so now.

“Especially important are the basics of direct response marketing, asking for a specific action (like buying now, or sending for a free report).”

John Carlton slyly refers to himself as “the most ripped-off copywriter on the Web”, and almost no one on the inside of the online entrepreneurial world disagrees. His sales copy has been stalked for decades by many of the best marketers both online and offline… and they freely admit using John’s ads as templates for their own breakthrough pitches. Marketers model John’s stuff because it works. As a freelance copywriter, John has remained one of a handful at the top of the game for his entire career — commanding fees that cause unprepared clients to choke, sought after by the largest mailers in the world, and consistently writing pitches that sell like crazy.


17. Persistence – Stay the Course
Webster’s Dictionary defines persistence as the continuance of an effect after the cause is removed. Once you take the time to create a marketing strategy and implement a marketing plan, your goals will be clear.

And when you are focused, disciplined, and selfish (a mature selfishness that allows you to make decisions based on the outcomes you want to experience.), your persistence allows you to see any unplanned obstacles not as problems, but as opportunities.

After all, if it was easy, anyone could accomplish what you are accomplishing. But not everyone is on the field of battle with you. They see obstacles and stop. You see obstacles and opportunities. You keep your eyes clearly fixed on your objectives; you try different things to overcome these obstacles.

You know where you are going; you know you can’t be stopped. You know that your persistence is what drives you forward. You will find a way around any obstacle, and keep right on going.

Ron Finklestein is President of AKRIS, INC, is a small business success expert, business coach, consultant, speaker, author, and trainer. He has published three books, “49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales”, “Celebrating Success! Fourteen Ways to a Successful Company” and “The Platinum Rule to Small Business Mastery”. Ron’s client have increase sales 35% year over year, experienced 150% return on investment, opened new markets and created new products that have transformed companies.


18. Move Faster.

During recessions we have the tendency to slow down. We want to take our time to ensure we make no mistakes. Top leaders recognize that in the 21st Century speed is key differentiator.

“Now is the time to get new products to market, now is the time to hit your competitors harder, now is the time to stoke urgency among your troops. The recession will end and when that happens speed will give you a huge head start.”

Jeb Blount is the CEO of SalesGravy.com, the largest online community of B2B Sales Professionals on the internet. He is the author of the bestseller Power Principles, hosts the #1 ranked sales podcast in the world, and is an inspirational speaker known for his ability to move his audiences to action.
With over 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 sales and marketing, he has extensive experience turning around and righting troubled organizations. He has a passion for growing people and the unique ability to see potential in everyone. Over the span of his career he has coached, trained, and developed hundreds of Sales Professionals, managers and leaders.


19. Don’t bet on when the economy will pick up.
Build a business that works now.

I made an agreement with one of the contributors, not to mention his name publicly. He’s a well-known marketer and author. This above is his tip.

There are 18 more methods still on the way  (#20 is below) !  Sign-up at top by email or RSS feed, so you won’t miss them. 


If you like these tips please share a link to them on your blog or tweet them.

  • Following me on Twitter @scottaughtmon to get reminders when the posts go live.
  1. Darron Thevarajah says:

    These are all great pieces of advice…some I’ve heard before…some common sense (but not common practice)…but I love the ITCH business piece of advice. Give you a great metaphor for the whole business of satisfying deep-down emotional and physical needs. Like it.

  2. My favorite is #10. I was at an “Internet Traffic Magic” seminar in December, where the presenter said, “Stop trying to SELL to people! EDUCATE them instead. Make yourself an expert in your field!” In that moment I realized I AM an expert in something. After watching my ex-husband drown himself (and me) in get-rich-quick schemes, I had a whole book’s worth of material on the subject! Two months later, “Don’t Start a Business without ME!” was born!

  3. I love #19! “Build a business that works now.” My husband and I own two brick & mortars and we are calling this recession “The Limbo.” As we learn how to contort ourselves to meet each new level of difficulty, we are getting stronger, leaner and more customer-focused. In the end, if we survive, we will have an excellent business providing precisely the services needed by our clients, with ultimate efficiency. We are looking at it like the challenge it is! Thanks for a great blog!

  4. They’re all good insights, but I like number 19 (Don’t bet on when the economy will pick up. Build a business that works now) the most.

    As humans, we have a huge tendency to settle for the best solutions we have in our tool-box (“Do nothing” is one of our favorites), even if we know they are inadequate. Settling reinforces the negatively geared cycle.

    The recession provides the burning platform we all need to gavanise our ingenuity and enable us to not merely survive, but prosper – so I think number 19 is the bomb!

  5. Eric Roth says:

    As a struggling small business owner and educational publisher, your article provided a litany of helpful tips. The trick, as so often, remains how to do what one knows needs to be done!

    As the old cliche goes, “to know and not do is not know!”

  6. Brian says:

    All wonderful points, but I must say that I like 17 (Persistence – Stay the Course)

    I find that in these times Persistence is something that most individuals lack and are in desprate need of. Any sign of doubt or of a road bloack, most people will simply quit and settle for something less than what they originally strived to achieve.

    As long as you persist there is no way you can fail at anything you do. Stay foused and keep going, these are your goals that your going for so why let something stop you from reaching it? Great Topic 5 stars.

  7. I really love the first. Focus, Focus.Focus. I own a small chain of community pharmacies. I was trying to be everything to all people, when I realized most of my patients were 50 plus. So I now concentrate on that area. I now call myself a senior care pharmacist and as number 10 advises, I am making myself an expert in this area.

  8. scottaught says:

    Hey everyone. Thanks for posting your favorite of the 19 methods! It was good to hear from all of you. Eric Roth and Darron Thevarajah had it right when they mentioned that the key is DOING these methods. Acting on these methods is definitely not the common practice.

  9. scottaught says:

    I’ll announce the first 2 winners tomorrow. If you want to be one of these winners then add your favorite of these 19 methods here in the comments by MIDNIGHT today, April 21st.

    I’ll post tomorrow how you can win one of the next 2 sets (of the 6 total sets) I’m giving away.

  10. […] Today I’m picking 2 winners from the 7 who entered by posting their favorite of the first 19 methods I’m posting in my blog series “38 Methods (From 38 Experts) That Can Help Your Business Survive & Prosper In A Recession“. […]

  11. […] To Success? I’ve been thinking about some comments that were made  on my “19 Methods” […]

  12. All of your methods are awesome!!!!!!!!!!! Never, never quit!!! Go with your heart and listen to your intuition, sometimes you need to change directions, but never quit!!!

  13. […] 19 MORE Methods To Help Your Business Survive & Prosper In A Recession Below are the final 19 methods from my blog series “38 Methods (from 38 experts) To Help Your Business Survive And Prosper In A Recession”.   You can see the first 19th methods here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s