In 2008, I spoke with two groups of business leaders that I coach on the topic, “What should we be doing now to weather the down economy?” Seven ideas received broad support:

  1. Stay in touch with your center and manage your outlook.
  2. Get busy with personal, executive-to-executive selling.
  3. Cash is king. Watch it closely.
  4. Conserve cash: make sure every dollar out is going to come back–soon–in sales or profits.

    • Cut your marginal players now
    • Hire slowly or leave openings unfilled.
      Plenty of talent is coming onto the market.
    • If an outlay can wait, let it wait.
  5. Acquire cash-strapped competitors.
    You can acquire talent, inventory, customers, etc. at distress prices if you are patient and prepared.
  6. Cover your fixed costs without devaluing your brand by “white labeling” your product or services at lower prices, perhaps with fewer features or less support.
  7. Do the math for your prospects to make the business case. If your product will save cash or improve ROI, lay out the exact numbers for their current situation.


A longer list was compiled by one of my colleagues with his groups (Click to see pdf).