Seven Ways to Dominate in a Recession (Part 1)

Last Updated: October 29, 2008By

Don’t Just Survive … Dominate in a Recession
©John L. Mariotti 2008

Here are the first 3 ways to Dominate in a Recession

1. ‘ATTACK!”— By definition, a “recession” means negative growth, but that doesn’t mean there’s NO business. There’s just less, and it takes more, better effort to capture it. That’s when “dominate” comes into play. If you read further down this list, you will know to choose the right customers, and push the right products. Get out there and get a larger share of the remaining business. Attack; don’t defend! Be proactive, not reactive!

2. CUSTOMERS: Sort customers in descending order of your annual revenues and profits—also consider their potential. Get closer to the top customers and sell them more. Eliminate complexity added by bottom-dwelling customers; they cost more to keep than they yield in profits. There are some winners in the middle who need attention, and losers who need to go—now! Firing customers is always hard, but when the cost to serve them exceeds the profit they generate, money and time that could be used on better customers is wasted.

3. PRODUCTS: Sort your products the same way, in descending order of annual revenue and profit. First, consider the items at the top. Where are they on the “product life cycle”? New and still growing, or old and declining? Which have plateaued (neither growing nor declining)? Those will decline next. Now is the time to “rejuvenate” them or drop them. Reduce the complexity drain of old, tired products – dump them – and make room for new ones.

John L. Mariotti’s new book “THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS—Why Too Many Products, Markets & Customers Are Crippling Your Company – And What To Do About It” is available at, and most leading bookstores. Mariotti, former President of Huffy Bicycles and Rubbermaid Office Products Group, is President & CEO of The Enterprise Group, and author of eight books business books and hundreds of articles and columns. He serves on several corporate boards, advises companies and does public speaking. He can be reached at


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