Straight to the Bottom Line

“2009-2011 Recession Survival Guide”

“2009-2011 Recession Survival Guide” – 414 Actions Businesses Can Take to Weather the Storm and Boost Profits

Survival Guide Book Cover

by Michael McDermott


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Bryan_Carey’s Full Review: Michael McDermott – The 2009-2011 Recession Survival Guide. Business has taken a beating in the past year. The financial crisis has led to bankruptcies among many financial institutions and the effects of this crisis have been felt in many other companies as credit has tightened and capital is more difficult to obtain. The crisis will hopefully be history very soon, but in the meantime, there are many different steps that companies can take to alleviate the financial pain and many are described in the pages of The 2009- 2011 Recession Survival Guide: 414 Actions Businesses Can Take to Weather the Storm and Boost Profits, a business book by Michael McDermott.Basic Contents of This Book:This 143- page book is divided into 14 chapters:

1.  Planning and Strategy Development
2.  Financial Basics and Measures to Take When Money is Tight
3.  Cost Savings Through Better Productivity
4.  Pricing
5.  Raising Capital
6.  Marketing & Advertising
7.  Adjusting Products & Services
8.  Your Human Resource
9.  Getting Everyone on a Team and Pulling Together
10. Tips for Negotiating the Best Deals Possible
11. Measurement and Benchmarking
12. Customer Service and Satisfaction
13. Recession Strategy
14. Parting Thoughts

The 2009- 2011 Recession Survival Guide includes chapters that focus on different areas where businesses can reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Chapter one starts off the book by talking about the importance of strategy and planning. Once a plan is in place, chapters two and three then offer advice on ways to cut costs and save money.

In chapters four, five, six, and seven, this book talks about pricing, funding, marketing, and changes to target markets and products. Pricing strategy may require some revamping to handle the changing economy and different techniques may be necessary to raise money. Advertising may need to be redirected and new customers may need to be sought by aiming for a different type of customer.

People are the most important part of any business and employees are the subject of chapters eight and nine. These chapters concentrate on ways to deal with employees in a way that minimizes disruption and maintains morale. For example, to avoid layoffs, cutting or eliminating overtime is one obvious consideration, but there are other changes that may also work such as voluntary reductions in hours for hourly employees.

In chapters ten through twelve, the book talks about topics like deal negotiation, comparing your progress to other companies in similar industries, and maintaining customer loyalty. Chapter thirteen discusses specific strategies to use with customers when it seems like everyone is cutting back. Chapter fourteen then wraps up the book with a seven- step turnaround plan.

Final Thoughts:
Times are tough for American businesses and recovery has been slow in the making. Thankfully, I have not been part of the downsizing and layoffs so common in different parts of the country. However, even though my business is doing well by today’s standards, we have still been directed to watch expenses and keep costs under control while we cautiously await the economic recovery.

Any business can find ways to control costs, improve sales, and build relationships with customers and employees and The 2009- 2011 Recession Survival Guide is one book designed to help managers and owners find ways to improve the bottom line. This book offers more than 400 ways to make changes for the better and most of the suggestions in this book are things that most any business can implement quickly, without much trouble.

Cutting costs is the most obvious way for any business to save money and there are plenty of cost- cutting measures in this book. It could be something as simple as reducing your businesses’ utility expenses by setting the heat/air on a timer so that it automatically reduces or shuts off during the night (if practical) ; paying the most critical vendors first and negotiating longer payment terms with others; raising prices slightly in order to improve margins; etc. These measures, and others like them, represent some simple changes that can make a difference to the bottom line with minimal effort.

Reducing costs is always the first thing businesses do when times get tough, but there are other ways to improve and The 2009- 2011 Recession Survival Guide includes a well- rounded list of other areas of your business to consider for a makeover. Marketing, human resources, customer service, and other areas each receive some coverage in this book. No matter how cost- conscious a business becomes, it is still important to treat customers right and to look for other ways to improve. I was pleasantly surprised when I read these sections because I assumed this was going to be reference- like guide with a listing of 414 ways for businesses to save money. Reducing costs is certainly important, but it is only part of the equation and I am glad that the author decided to include other things as well.

Speaking of the “414 Actions”, this subtitle is a little misleading. When I heard this, I assumed the book was going to include 414 ways to save money, with each item sorted according to type of savings and numbered from one through four- hundred and fourteen. The book is not like that at all. In fact, I am not even sure precisely how many actions are listed and I’m not about to start counting. I am not sure what convinced the author to include this number in the title, but l will take his word for it that 414 actions really do exist.

Plenty of books exist about cutting costs and they all offer their own take on the process with the author’s own writing style blended in. I like the way this author approaches the subject of business improvement, particularly his lack of arrogance. Some business books offer advice, but with attitude. The authors of these books seem to think that his/her way is the only way that will work. McDermott’s approach, however, is more along the lines of “have you considered trying this”? or “this approach may save your company substantially”. He doesn’t come out and tell you that his methods will all work and he doesn’t make the common “I guarantee you success” statement anywhere in the book. His approach is like that of a friendly educator. He wants you to think about ways to improve that you may not have considered before. You may save a good deal of money and, in the process, make your business stronger in both the present and future.

Overall, The 2009- 2011 Recession Survival Guide is a very good book for weathering the recessional storm. This book offers a large range of tips and general ideas to help companies turn the corner and get through this business recession relatively unscathed. Even if your company is performing well, there is still good advice in the pages of this book and following its advice can help any company improve.