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Letter from the publisher:


Together we can move ahead

Dear Reader, a part of what a newspaper these free sessions. (For nothing to say, the newscaster
delivers to readers. That details, please see the ad on would stare blankly at the
You might be confused as makes us partners with our Page 9.) camera and there would be no
you look
advertisers. I would be remiss if I did news to Google. Local news-
When local businesses are not address one other point: papers provide the world its
this sec-
tion. Why hurting, we hurt along with Local newspapers are very news.
would your them. When they prosper, we much alive, despite what So let’s start moving our
local news- prosper as well. In a sense, we you hear about the Internet local economy in the right
paper be are putting our money and our becoming our Grim Reaper. direction. Let’s get over the
presenting newsprint where our mouth In fact, newspapers are very notion that newspapers are
advice on is by supporting our business much a part of the Internet dead. Let’s think about the
running a partners. (see our Web site if you doubt opportunities that this current
business during these difficult In addition to publishing this point). And they remain economy offers and let’s learn
times? this section, we are partner- vital to the communities they new skills together as we
Very simply, we are not just ing with Suffolk University serve. invent our future.
in the newspaper business. and our Chamber of Com- How important are news- Together we will succeed.
This newspaper is a direct merce in a “Business Sur- papers to society? Imagine
reflection of our community. vival Breakfast Series” that if newspapers around our
People naturally associate will offer three presentations country decided to take a
the newspaper with news. But on weathering this economic break and did not publish for Al Getler
the advertising contained in storm. We urge business one week. I predict that the
the newspaper is very much Publisher
people of all kinds to attend radio announcer would have

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Five strategies

for handling the recession

Business professor shares insights on how
to thrive, even in a difficult economy
By Donna Green the associate professor of marketing ownership interest in 15 companies
and entrepreneurship at the Girard over the past 40 years.
Joseph Stasio has a clear and School of Business at Merrimack Drawing on his academic and
stern message for businesspeople College. business experience, the profes-
navigating the weather of the cur- “If it doesn’t, yours will be the first sor provides the following five
rent economic storm. to go.” strategies to help business owners
“Customers still need your ser- He’s not just speaking as a wise improve their value proposition
vices if it provides real value,” said professor; Stasio also has had during hard financial times.

1. Refocus on your Cardea has one major software product that

helps doctors interpret and manage bone den-
existing customers sity scans. By getting to know the needs of the
When sales begin to sag, the usual reaction is doctors and hospitals who use the program,
to go after new business. Stasio says, instead, Cardea has been able to do ancillary software
in hard times businesses should concentrate projects for these hospitals and physicians.
their efforts on leveraging their existing cus- “Doctors have made tremendous suggestions
tomer relationships to look for new business to us about new functionality for our software
opportunities. which helps us to expand our business,” Stasio
“Very often, companies don’t understand said. “We can now offer things to doctors that
their relationship with their existing custom- we weren’t able to before.”
ers,” Stasio said. The professor pointed to another example of
That’s a mistake, he said. Because if you have customer-driven innovation, this one at a chain
a good relationship with your customers, along of five pizza stores on the North Shore.
with a good grasp of their needs and how they Stasio owned and operated the stores for 15
are using your product, “new products and new years starting in the 1970s. At some point, one
services can arise because of your relationships of his good customers, a lobster fisherman,
with your current customers.” brought him a lobster so the fisherman could
He cited an example from one of his compa- have the meat on his pizza.
nies, Cardea Technology, Inc., a medical soft- “It became a bigger seller,” said Stasio, until
ware firm in Somerville. it became too expensive to continue.

2. Look for purchasing needs can be “very

opportunities to practical and it pays immediate
embrace competition That little pizza operation has
While operating the same given rise to another salient busi-
chain of pizza places, Stasio ness illustration: the art of cross
formed a buying cooperative promotion.
with other pizza restaurants. The pizza chain printed up
The resulting bulk-purchasing promotional coupons that were
ability got all of them a signifi- handed out at neighborhood liquor
cant discount on mushrooms stores. When someone bought
and cheese. beer, the liquor store put a pizza
At one point, he said, they even coupon into their bag. The coupons
had a small warehouse. cost very little, the liquor store was
“The effect on the bottom line giving their customers added value
was pretty dramatic,” he said. at no cost to their own business,
Plus, he noted, such cooperation and the pizza chain was reaching
between companies with similar potential customers.

3. Target your advertising a business pays attention to that paradigm,

Businesses should continue to pursue new the better they can measure the return on that
customers in challenging times, Stasio said, money — and feel better about spending it.”
but in a limited and highly targeted way. Advertising and promotions that get people
“Because resources are so limited in this to act on the information, he said, provide the
economy, small businesses have to be smart best advertising dollar value.
about spending those dollars,” he said. “What “Providing incentives to buy more or new
are you trying to accomplish? Every dollar things, or get involved in their business in
must have an objective.” ways that will generate additional revenue,”
Coupons, Stasio believes, “are a very good are examples, he said.
way for small companies to stimulate business Advertising also needs to address the
in short, targeted spurts and see the results of immediate concerns of the customer. When
their investment.” doctors suddenly received 50 percent less
Plus, coupons provide a measurable return for a bone scan report, Cardea Technolo-
for the promotional dollar. gies began stressing the money-saving ben-
Stasio believes it’s important to determine efits of their software, rather than just its
a reasonable expected return on advertising functionality.
dollars. “Because of the fear and threat in the envi-
“Get away from good will and just getting ronment, we changed our message and added a
your name out,” he advised. “What will create whole new section to our Web site that focused
the best return for the ad dollar? The more on ROI,” Stasio said.

4. Tighten up, but don’t be

penny wise and pound foolish
In hard times, what used to seem like a reasonable investment
suddenly begins to look like an unnecessary expenditure. Resist
the temptation to cut back on things that will have long-term
“Many smaller organizations, in an attempt to tighten their
belt, begin to reduce certain expenditures,” the professor said.
“They might reduce bonuses and employee or customer reward
programs. They begin to cut back on advertising and promo-
tional efforts.”
It’s true, such actions can save dollars in the short term he said,
but not without caution.
“In the long-run, they are sacrificing market growth and orga-
nizational continuity for the sake of a few dollars,” he said.

5. Don’t be quick to discount your core value

“In my pizza shops I would never ever discount the on how the customer will perceive this. Are you desper-
product,” Stasio said. ate? Were you gouging before? Is your product somehow
“I gave away free soda, T-shirts, special promotions,” lower in quality?
he added. “On your birthday, if you could prove it, you got “It’s all about value,” Stasio said. “The more a small
a small cheese pizza. I didn’t want to devalue my pizza. business thinks about the value it provides in the mar-
But I was able to promote very well nevertheless. ketplace, the more opportunities it has to deliver innova-
Before discounting your core product or service, reflect tive solutions.”

‘Factoring’ can help businesses with cash flow when loans are tight
By Bruce Freeman additional working capital when — minus a fee — comprise a traditional means”. business, working capital and
Scripps Howard News money is tied up in accounts thriving, if little-known, global A factor purchases a busi- personal credit score.
receivable. Meanwhile, obtaining industry. ness’s accounts receivable and Factoring differs from equity
Dear Professor Bruce: I’m a small- funding from banks and other It’s called factoring and it’s gives them a large percent- financing in that factors don’t
business owner and am finding traditional resources means a worth an estimated $1 trillion a age of the total creditworthy take equity in the company. Since
it difficult to get a bank loan. I’ve long and arduous process. year worldwide, with $100 bil- accounts receivable up front. The contracts are short-term, the cli-
heard of something called factor- Furthermore, how many times lion of that in the United States remainder comes when they are ent could elect to stop factoring
ing. What is it and when is it time have business owners heard that and about $4 billion in Canada, collected. whenever he or she chooses.
to consider alternatives to tradi- the check’s in the mail? according to Factors Chain Inter- The factor handles all the The industry, notes Birnbaum,
tional bank loans? Even when dealing with house- national, a global network of credit checks, collects the is set to grow again in light of
Answer: As the credit crisis hold corporate names, delayed leading factoring companies. accounts receivable and ledgers current instability in U.S. mar-
spurs traditional lenders to payments are surprisingly com- According to Brian Birnbaum, the receivable so the client is kets related to credit lending
tighten credit standards and mon as head offices decide con- one of the founders of Liquid able to concentrate on growing practices among major lenders,
raise fees, more small-business tractors or vendors can wait Capital, “factoring is the pur- the business. such as banks. Factoring does
owners and entrepreneurs are another 30, 60, or even 90 days. chase of corporate accounts Factoring differs from tradi- well when banks tighten their
seeking other ways to start a It turns out companies that r e c e ivab l e . I t ’ s g e n e r a l ly tional bank loans because the lending and people can’t find
business or keep it going. provide interim financing to used when a company is in its credit decision is strictly based money anywhere else.
Small growth-oriented busi- these struggling small-business infancy or experiences a growth on receivables, rather than Bruce Freeman is president of
nesses and established mid- owners by purchasing their cred- spurt and gives that company other criteria, for instance, how ProLine Communications, a mar-
sized companies often require itworthy, outstanding invoices access to capital through non- long the company has been in keting and public relations firm.
Yes, it’s really happening: Now do something about it

By Jeffrey Gitomer having trouble adapting to chang- less TV time. The news is not invest in them. They will thank you their situation, then and only then
ing economic climates, followed great — especially people giving and reward you with their loyalty. can you begin to write what you
It’s been a by what you can do about it. their opinion about what is hap- intend to do – your objectives.
long time com- pening. Watch less of it. Now is SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY You may have several objec-
ing, but change REASONS YOU RESIST CHANGE the time for action, not opinion. For years I have defined change tives. Whatever the objectives are,
is gonna come, 1. Your inability to face the reality „„ Study attitude for 15 minutes as opportunity. That definition is they must be clearly stated and
oh yes it will. that it’s actually happening to every morning. Give yourself still accurate. defined in writing. Do not confuse
— Wr i t t e n you. The news is always about time to read, think and plan. This is not a time to “get over objectives with goals. Write down
and performed someone else’s drama. That’s „„ Relax mentally. Breathe. it.” This is a time to get on with it what you intend to do to help the
by Sam Cooke, why you watch it. „„ Get up earlier, stay up later. and take advantage of it. customer, do more business with
1963 2. Your natural defensive posture. Now is not the time for “balance.” Before you try to make another the customer, gain more referrals
“It’s not my fault! Someone else Now is the time for “money.” sale, before you call on the next from the customer, and make the
Change is not “in the air.” It did it.” „„ Do your best every day at customer, look at the real world relationship with the customer a
has hit the ground running, or 3. Your natural resistance to what’s work. You never have to prove so you can come up with real financially rewarding one.
should I say running rampant. new. “It’s always worked before, your worth if you’re doing your ideas and real answers. Now, I’m going to challenge
Breaking news: Have you and I liked it that way.” best. Let me be more specific. I want you on a mastery point. Once
heard? The economy is down. 4. Your procrastination and inabil- „„ Avoid attending the pity par- you to look at and define your you have this game plan written
It hasn’t been this way, this bad ity to face reality. “I see it com- ties. There are plenty of them. real world, and their real world. down: situation, opportunities,
or this low for 50 years. Companies ing, but it may just go away, I’ll „„ Don’t participate in the Before you visit any customer, objectives, and intentions, I chal-
are crumbling, and rules are being change later.” rumor mill; wait for the facts to you have to know what the total lenge you to share these thoughts
abandoned. The government is in 5. Your previous comfort and pres- emerge. situation is. In these times, “sell with your customers so that they
scramble mode as never before. ent comfort. “I have a lifestyle, „„ Don’t participate in the them” may be last on the list. can become aware of how seri-
But that’s them. and I don’t want it interrupted!” grumbling. Just get to work and Don’t make the fatal mistake of ous, how professional, and how
What about you and yours? 6. Your unwillingness to abide sell something. just defining your situation. You certain you are about growing
What’s happening to you? A by the new rules and the new „„ Make a projected cash flow. also have to define the customer’s the relationship, helping them,
change in business volume? Dif- standards. Resistance to self- Cut now so you don’t run out of situation, the market situation, and building your business.
ficult cash flow? Credit restric- improvement. Resistance to be money in the near future. and your company’s situation. Your list of ideas and answers
tions? Change in job status? Work measured by results. Resistance „„ Sell more. No company ever Write down the situation. will not only set you apart from
environment? Work require- to being measured against oth- cut their way to success. And then start looking for your competitors, who at this
ments? Customers hurting? ers. This is especially true if „„ Guard your customers. Your opportunities. moment are merely trying to
Yikes. you’re a longtime employee. competition is gunning for them. What are the opportunities for sell and collect, but they will
It’s not “change” — it’s “drastic 6.5 You think: “It can’t happen „„ Serve your customers better the customer, for your company, also build your relationship in
change.” here.” Uh, Sparky, it already has. than ever. Earn their loyalty with and for you? Is there an opportu- the more difficult times.
How are you reacting to And it’s not going away any time value. nity for you to capture a higher Then, when times get better
the events? Most people are soon. „„ Help your customers with percentage of the customer’s busi- — and they always do, you will
experiencing a combination of Do something! their issues. Their situation is ness? Is there a market opportu- have earned the business and the
reluctance and resistance. A what’s causing your falling sales nity that customers are missing loyalty that you deserve.
combination of scared and wor- WHAT YOU CAN DO numbers. because they are more focused on Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of
ried. You are not alone, but it Is there a solution? Are there „„ Give something of value to their woes and their competition, “The Sales Bible” and “The Little
doesn’t mean you have to join the answers? your customers. They will thank rather than their strengths? Red Book of Selling.” He can be
afflicted or the paralyzed. Yes, there are. you and respect you. Once you’ve identified all the reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail
Following is part of why you’re „„ Create more self-time and „„ Select your top customers and opportunities and you’re clear on to

Suffolk University Sawyer Business School

is pleased to participate in the

Weathering the Storm

Business Survival Breakfast Series
Presented by the Institute for Executive Education and MBA Programs in North Andover

Program options include:

• 21 Month Saturday only Executive MBA Program in Boston
• 18 Month Saturday only Executive MPA Program in Boston
• Part and full-time traditional MBA options in Boston, North Andover, or Online
• Customized executive education programs on-site or on campus

Visit for more information about all our business programs.

Amy Sweeney/Staff photo

Featured speakers, pictured from left, will be David Hartstein, president of KaBloom flowers, Michael Barretti, director of the Institute for Executive Education at Suffolk University,
and Lu Ann Reeb, president of Skyways Communications, LLC.

Weathering the Storm:

A business breakfast series
There’s no escaping the is to attend the Weathering experts who know your strug-
facts of the current economic the Storm Business Survival gles firsthand.
downturn. But that doesn’t Breakfast Series in coming The series is sponsored by
mean you have to stand by weeks at The Gloucester North of Boston Media Group,
helplessly. House. Suffolk University and the
One way to take immediate The workshops will offer Cape Ann Chamber of Com-
action to help your business targeted advice for busi- merce. For details, see our ad,
not only survive, but thrive, nesses like yours from page 9.

About the Speakers: David Hartstein

“ Inat this day and age, it is very hard to reinvent the wheel. But it is important for all of us to look
our business every day and determine where we stand as it relates to our competition.
David Hartstein ”

Remember the Four P’s: Price,

promotion, product and place
By Tracey Rauh Solomon Q: You describe a difficult things I do (to save resources) is process in getting the patent I outsource every aspect of my
for the Moses Miracle. In fact, business. I outsource account-
David Hartstein, founder and you say the patent was turned ing, marketing, affiliate manage-
CEO of KaBloom flowers, was down three times. Why did you ment... I advise franchisees to
born in Israel, the son of Holo- keep trying? look at things we used to do in
caust survivors. A: We found out in retrospect the past that worked very well
He came to America in 1982 to that the examiners in Wash- for us. Like marketing our busi-
attend Suffolk University, then ington, D.C., had not issued the ness via local merchants... Put a
shortly after returned to Israel patent not because there was vase of fresh flowers at the local
when his father died. something out there like it, but Starbucks, local Dunkin Donuts,
“My mother was the one who because they could not believe local dry cleaner, local shoe
convinced me to come back to that something so simple was maker, apparel store. Just ask
the U.S. to finish school,” he not invented before. The point that they put a card that says
says. “She said ... ‘Everything I am making here is that in this these are courtesy of KaBloom.
can be taken away from you, but day and age, it is very hard to Get people to see what you do,
your education.’ That statement reinvent the wheel. But it is and maybe get them to come to
has resided in me throughout important for all of us to look your store.
my professional career.” at our business every day and Q: Any more simple tips?
Hartstein would go on to earn determine where we stand as it A: There are local newspapers
a bachelor’s degree and MBA relates to our competition. What that can have an ad, a flier, that
from Suffolk in just four years, can we do that is better than our says come to KaBloom and we
while also working full time. competition? And that is one of will give you a dozen roses if
Ove r t h e c o u r s e o f h i s the great things that exists in you spend a certain number of
career, he has worked with the United States; as long as we dollars ... The local merchants
and founded a variety of com- are honest and ethical, the sky around us are in the same boat
panies. It was in 1998 that he is the limit. that we are. We can all organize
launched KaBloom, retailers Q: You have gone through together and advertise our local
of fresh-cut flowers, and subse- many different economic cli- community. The local newspaper
quently By 2006, mates as a business person. can be very helpful with this.
the company reached sales of What sorts of advice do you Q: Can you think of an
$40 million and had more than give to your franchisees to help example?
120 stores nationwide. them succeed during these dif- A: I remember when we
Hartstein sold the company ficult financial times? opened KaBloom, the day I
in 2006, then bought it back in A: Within the business model, knew we had a successful for-
2008 after patenting a hydra- I look at how do you run a com- mula was when we advertised in
tion system that allows flowers pany. There is an item called the local paper and the ad said,
to be shipped to consumers and fixed costs that you can’t get rid “Free dozen roses with the pur-
stores in water. The balloon-like of: rent, taxes, water, sewerage, chase of a vase for $12.99.” We
device is secured tightly to the etc. got such a hike in our sales that
base of cut stems. Today, Hart- Q: And then there are those I knew ... There are four items
Businessman David Hartstein, who grew up in Israel, believes the
stein says, thanks to this Moses that are not? I teach our students every day,
opportunities for entrepreneurism in America are unprecedented for Miracle, as the patent is named, A: Yes. In an economy like and that is the Four Ps: The
those willing to become educated, work hard, and constantly consider his is the only company in the today, for instance, when people price, promotion, product and
ways to stand out from the crowd. “What can we do that is better than United States that can ship flow- are laid off, very good people are place. That day, I knew we had
our competition?” he asks. “That is one of the great things that exists ers overnight in water via main- out there looking for something it. It worked.
in the United States; as long as we are honest and ethical, the sky is stream delivery services. to do in their field. One of the
the limit.”

About the Speakers: Lu Ann Reeb

Get your message out online

By Tracey Rauh Solomon you reach that audience, then we What advice would you give to are able to develop a strategy. It’s me?
the same strategy for any size A: You look at how you have
Lu Ann Reeb is president of business. marketed and advertised in the
Skyways Communications, a Q: To be clear, you do not create past. Maybe you have purchased
new media marketing firm in Web sites, but rather content to an ad in a newspaper and that
Norwood. go along with? has worked very successfully. ...
Prior to founding her com- A: Right. Just about every I would say to that client, don’t
pany 10 years ago, Reeb was business has a Web site and stop buying that ad in the news-
an Emmy award-winning exec- the problem is that people think paper because it has worked for
utive producer who worked in because I have a Web site I’m all you. Rather, you want to add
television news for more than set. Well, not necessarily so. ... prospective clients. Maybe you
20 years. You have to work at technology do a media buy online with that
As a TV journalist, she pro- that will allow your business to paper ...
duced nightly news programs be found. And not necessarily You can also be creative about
and documentaries and covered spending thousands and thou- how you use that ad. I am a big
a wide range of news stories. sands of dollars. There are lots fan of re-purposing content.
With Skyways Communica- of strategies that don’t cost a lot Let’s say that store has an ad in
tions, she uses that experience of money. the paper and online with the
to help businesses tell their Q: Can you give an example? newspaper. Well, maybe you add
stories. A: You can write a blog that’s a new media piece. So online
Q: It’s no secret that this is a associated with your Web site ... you can have a click-through to
challenging economy — for any If you write a blog, you become a coupon, to an audio message,
sized business. What are some the expert. And people like to a 30-second commercial. ... You
of the ways you counsel people listen to experts when they are look at what you have and build
to get their message out and not looking for a product. on it incrementally in the most
only survive, but thrive? If the Web site is your founda- economical way.
A: What I tell my clients, what tion, you have to think periph- Q: Is it more important or less
I ask my clients, is really simple: erally. How can I drive people important in an economy like
What is your audience? What is to my Web site — just like you this to continue to budget ad
your message? And once we have would try and drive people to dollars?
identified this, then, where are your brick and mortar, to your A: I would say to any business
they? ... Are they on the Internet? store. owner of any size that a down
Are they on iTunes? Are they Q: So I am a small business- economy is the time when you
on Facebook? Are they search- person. I own three convenience need to advertise, market and
ing through Google and various stores in the Merrimack Valley. promote even more. Your clients
search engines? I have a Web site. I want to com- and your customers are cutting
Marketing professional Lu Ann Reeb helps businesses get down to Once we define the audience, pete better. I want to know how back, too. So you really need to
the basics when it comes to building a customer base. the message — story, and how to spend my advertising dollars. try harder to reach them.

daily newspapers
online products
lifestyle magazines weekly newspapers
for advertising information, please call:
The Eagle-Tribune 978-946-2000
Gloucester Daily Times 978-283-7000
The Salem News 978-922-1234
Daily News of Newburyport 978-462-6666
Derry News & Weekender 603-437-7000
Andover Townsman 978-475-7000
The Haverhill Gazette 978-374-0321
Carriage Towne News 603-642-4499
About the Speakers: Michael Barretti

Remain visible and valuable

By Tracey Rauh Solomon event I lose my job? Or maybe I have lost is going on with their customers these my job and I really need to preserve my days. And yet you have to do it.
resources until times get better. One real simple way is to ask your
Professor of Marketing Michael L. Bar- When you are faced with a situation customer, “Why are you coming here?”
retti, Suffolk University’s director for the like this you have to be different than We need to gather information to make
Institute of Executive Education, was a your competitor... because there are logical decisions. And very often we are
longtime businessman before moving other businesses out there that do the so focused on today’s transaction that
into academia in 1997. same things you do. we’re not looking for the information
He began his career after serving in Q: What are specific ways to accom- that is going to help us with tomorrow’s
the U.S. military with Polaroid company, plish this? customer. It’s not just today’s transac-
then moved into the medical device A: One way is through more promotion. tion, it’s tomorrow’s transaction and
industry. Promotional activities draw traffic and if the day after’s. It costs more to acquire
Barretti has experience with difficult customers like the activities, they will keep a new customer than it does to keep an
economies, having been through down- coming back. Another way is to advertise existing customer.
turns in the early 1980s, the early 1990s more heavily to demonstrate that you are Q: What are four boiled-down points
and the dot-com bust. different from your competitors. A third that encapsulate what a business owner
“In each occasion I was responsible for way is to be more proactive and maybe should be thinking about today?
running a small to medium sized busi- adapt your message to customers. A: Number one, understand your cus-
ness,” he says. “So I’ve learned some This goes to a whole question of val- tomer, understand they are adapting to
lessons.” ues. As customers adapt to what is going difficult times right now. Number two,
Q: What are some of the things you have on in this economy, their values may be differentiate yourself. It’s not enough to
learned over the course of your career changing ... We are in a situation where say, “I’m the best.” You have to demon-
that can benefit business owners today? people are concerned about how they strate you are the best and show why.
A: One lesson I learned very early on is are spending discretionary money. What Number three, treat your customers
that in periods of down economic times, they may normally have spent money with respect so they want to come back
you’ve got to increase your customer’s on they may not now. So you have got to to your establishment. And number four,
awareness of your business. What is going be able to say to your customer: “This is customers are not just going to come.
on right now is a change in consumer why you should be buying from me or You have to advertise.
Suffolk University Professor Michael L. behavior. People are reacting to news using my services.” It applies to small I am very upbeat about this. This econ-
Barretti is optimistic about the future for reports, and we all know consumer confi- businesses as well as large. omy is going to change. And it’s going to
American businesspeople. “This economy is dence has dropped. That is having a direct Q: How can a business person come to go back to being as good as, if not better
going to change,” he says. effect on how people approach decisions. understand these values? than, it was before. And if you are not put-
With respect to big ticket items, for A: It’s hard to do. It’s hard to under- ting your brand out in front of that cus-
example, people are making lifestyle deci- stand. Particularly for small businesses tomer, those customers are not going to
sions. Do I invest in a new car, or an appli- that don’t have the resources a large be there when things get better. They will
ance, or do I hang onto that money in the business has to really understand what be at your competitor, who has done it.

Weathering the Storm

Business Survival Breakfast Series
to help businesses thrive in these tough economic times.
Featured Speakers
David Hartstein Michael Barretti Lu Ann Reeb
President of KaBloom Director, Institute for Executive President of Skyways
8:00 am - 9:15 am Education, Suffolk University Communications, LLC
Thursday, February 19th 8:00 am - 10:15 am 8:00 am - 10:15 am
Thursday, March 5th Thursday, March 5th
“Too many of us await opportunity, rather than “Thinking Through and Executing “A Survival Kit: Marketing Your Business
create opportunity” Imagination is more Your Marketing Strategy” in This Economy”
important than knowledge / Albert Einstein Michael L. Barretti, Professor, Marketing, and Director Lu Ann Reeb, Co-founder and President of
David Hartstein, Executive in Residence, Marketing, of the Institute for Executive Education and Life-long Legal Talk Network and Skyways Communications
Suffolk University Sawyer Business School Learning at Suffolk University Sawyer Business School Lu Ann is an accomplished entrepreneur and executive
David has extensive international experience in corporate Michael has over 35 years of domestic and international leader with a strong portfolio of corporate marketing
strategy, business development, and operations for a diverse business experience related to marketing, strategic planning, strategies in the global B2B environment. With a combination
range of retail and consumer products organizations. He is and new business development. In addition to his academic of small business management expertise, corporate
the founder and CEO of KaBloom, one of the premier floral and administrative responsibilities at Suffolk, Professor marketing, extensive media experience and advanced
companies in the United States. He was previously President Barretti maintains business interests in the medical devices education with an MBA from Suffolk University Sawyer
& CEO of Eden Advisors, and Managing Director of Super industry, and currently serves on the board of directors of Business School, Lu Ann also has extensive experience in
Office, Israel, and an executive with Staples, Inc. David AMEX listed AdvanSource Biomaterials. He holds an MBA Broadcast Journalism and TV news management spanning
earned his BSBA and MBA from Suffolk University Sawyer from Suffolk University, earned in the Executive MBA over a 20-year career.
Business School. Program, and a BBA from St. John’s University in New York.

For registration call Marybeth Callahan at (978) 283-7000 Ext. 3446

The series takes place at
The Gloucester House, 63 Rogers Street
Gloucester, MA
Build a happy place

Keeping up workplace morale helps retain workers through toughest times

By Donna Green
Correspondent QUICK TIPS
As the stock market has so
ably demonstrated, investors
hate uncertainty.
For management:
Employees hate it, too. „„ Address stress
In good times, an employee „„ Create a culture of optimism, empathy
who is worried about his or „„ Communicate honestly
her job reaches for the door. In „„ Define clear roles
bad times, only your strongest „„ Gain participation
employees are likely to be eye- „„ Think strategically
ing the exit.
That’s exactly what you don’t For employees:
„„ Build social support with team members
want. And it’s why paying a little
„„ Have an outlet for stress
attention to employee morale just
„„ Participate in change
might save your company from
„„ Understand your role or help define it
losing valuable human capital
when you can least afford it.
Dr. Jane Parent, assistant Employees and management,
professor of management at she said, need to address stress.
the Girard School of Business “Employees need to know they
at Merrimack College in North need an outlet so they can leave
Andover, has done research their job behind at times – a
examining how employees hobby, exercise,” she said. “It’s
respond to organizational not avoidance, but a break from
change. Before beginning work work.”
on her doctorate, she worked for Owners need an outlet, too.
13 years at large manufacturing “Often times small business
companies in fields relating to owners never take a break.”
financial analysis. people can ask questions,” Par- These changes often mean team spirit.
Parent offers this advice to ent advised. employees are required to do “If there is a group of people Think strategically
employers for keeping morale up more work and possibly of a who can all empathize with each Most entrepreneurs, don’t
as companies change to respond Gain participation nature they didn’t do before. And other, a synergy and teamwork look up from their business long
to these economically uncertain Parent’s research has shown these changed expectations need develop; an underdog mentality enough to think strategically,
times: that employees respond more to be made explicit. develops and builds morale,” Par- Parent said.
positively to change that they’ve “When your role is clearly ent said. “Together people work “Time has to be spent on strat-
Communicate been able to participate in, at defined in the organization, your better and more efficiently.” egy,” she pointed out.
“The biggest thing manage- least to some extent. morale is better,” Parent said. She also encourages manage- It’s important to ask the ques-
ment can do is communicate “When everybody is allowed “Make sure everyone has clear ment to be as optimistic about tion: “‘Where do I want to be in
what is going on with the busi- to participate at all levels of the roles and they understand those the future as possible, while still five years?’”
ness,” Parent said. “The more organization, from the mail room roles.” being honest. Employees, too, benefit from
management communicates the to the board room, more creative She suggests personal “I find optimism very important knowing management’s long-
good and bad news, the better ideas will come about,” Parent employee reviews with defined to how people adapt to change,” term vision. Parent believes busi-
employees will do.” said. “A business owner has to job goals and objectives. Parent explained. “If you are nesses are more likely to retain
Parent related an example of be open to having ideas bubble “What does the change in optimistic, you are more likely good staff when they know the
business-changing communica- up from the bottom.” work mean to the employee?” is to be more adaptable to change company has big plans for the
tion from her time at National She suggests giving employees a question that needs answering, and, in turn, have higher morale. future.
Semiconductor. At that time, she a business goal and having them she said. If there is hope, that should be “Employees are more likely
said, the company was losing suggest ways of achieving it. Responsibilities that just settle communicated.” to be excited about the business
money and a new chief executive One organization she studied, onto an employee because those Parent observes that many per- and want to be part of the team,”
officer had taken command. a large city library, told employ- who were doing that work are sonality characteristics are static she said.
“The first thing he taught us ees they needed to cut costs by 10 now gone give cause for resent- within a person. Yet corporate
was what ‘break even’ means,” she percent. The employees worked ment. Everyone needs to know culture, especially with respect Thrive through change
said. “Everybody from top to bot- amongst themselves and subse- what is expected of him or her, to pessimism or optimism, is “All the research on change
tom knew how to calculate it and quently found 10 percent savings and have management acknowl- contagious. and morale points to trusting,
we were rewarded on it also.” without anyone being laid off. edge when that expectation “Managers shouldn’t be Pol- communicating, participation,”
Within two years, Parent “Often we get this victim men- changes. lyanna, but we can be hopeful Parent said. “It is a leap if you
said, the company had achieved tality when the economy takes a If employees can participate in and work toward a goal and be have a business that doesn’t gen-
break-even and went on to down turn,” she said. redesigning their own role, all optimistic about the future. It erally do this, and it is a risk that
profitability. Good managers have long the better. will really help with morale in management has to take. These
Communication is most effec- known that giving employees a “I found when I was empow- difficult times,” she said. are different economic times and
tive when it is face-to-face, she chance to help solve problems ered to write my own goals and Of course, optimism must be we need to try different things.”
said. gives employees a greater sense objectives and took part in defin- based on reality. A diet of good Parent said people absolutely
“I think too many people use of control and some ownership in ing my role, I was more loyal — news will not be credible if thecan thrive through change and
electronic communication,” she the change, too. happier in my job,” Parent said. bad news is withheld. perform better after a change.
added. “I felt more of an attachment.” “I have found that people who
A set speech isn’t what she rec- Define clear roles Pay attention to stress participate, (who) are optimists
ommends, either. With downsizing or the elimi- A culture of empathy and optimism Parent points out that it is and are clear on their roles are
“Face-to-face is better in a nation of contractors, jobs Encouraging a feeling that stressful to work in a business the ones most likely to thrive
two-way communication, so change. we’re all in this together builds that isn’t profitable. through change,” she said.
When evaluating location, review ‘SPACE’

By Bruce Freeman office space. your address.

Scripps Howard News First, Golart says, look for ways A Park Avenue address in New
to save. York adds a level of prestige to
First-time small-business own- If a traditional lease, which your business that’s hard to
ers, or those looking to relocate typically lasts five to 10 years, calculate in dollars. But leasing
to increase space or save money, makes sense, negotiate a smaller traditional space in those key
will find that now is a great time up-front deposit, which usually business districts may be cost-
to be in the market for office consists of six months of rent or prohibitive. Consider using a
space. up to half of the total cost of the virtual office instead to obtain a
Some landlords have more lease. Businesses also can save Pennsylvania Avenue address in
available space right now due up to 60 percent on office space Washington, D.C., or an “office”
to the sluggish economy, which costs by using ready-to-work in Rockefeller center.
means they may be more willing space that includes furnish- Another important step is
to make a deal. ings, most office equipment and to read your contract clauses,
That’s excellent news for pro- maintenance. Golart advises.
spective tenants, since office Next, consider productivity, Not understanding the fine print
space is typically the second Golart advises. in your leasing contract could
largest business expense behind Many business owners want mean unwelcome and unexpected
employee salaries. employees to work in the same fees at a later date. Clauses can
But, according to Sande Golart, place at the same time, but the dictate everything from when rent
an office expert with Regus, a best office space helps employ- is due, to limitations of use, and
worldwide company that pro- ees be productive — which may your maintenance obligations. Be
vides flexible office solutions to mean not working in an office at sure you read and understand all
more than 400,000 people daily, all. Review which employees have clauses before signing on the dot-
cost is only one factor to consider to be at a physical office, and who ted line.
when evaluating office space. can telecommute from home or Finally, Golart says, don’t for-
Golart encourages business a shared office space location. get about expansion. to expand, or shrink, your space spaces.
owners to review their “SPACE” This can help save on overhead If your business changes dras- should the need arise. Depend- Bruce Freeman is president of
— savings, productivity, address, by reducing the amount of space tically, will your space change ing on the answer, you may want ProLine Communications, a mar-
clauses and expansion — to help needed. with you? Ask your potential to explore other leasing options, keting and public relations firm
ensure they’re getting the right Third, Golart says, think about landlord about what options exist such as subleasing or shared in Livingston, N.J.

Forget fear:
Find ways to excel
Great salespeople
By Marvin Walberg
Scripps Howard News Service
small group of co-workers who
you can trust and turn to when
the going gets really tough.
put customers first
Sometimes the best offense is a Take turns being “the positive By Bruce Freeman of top sales producers, but it’s
strong defense, and I’m not talk- one” and injecting a daily shot of Scripps Howard News
Great sales people also more than that. Great
ing football. courage. have a strong belief in sales people have a strong
This is not about job search- 4. Find a productive distraction. Dear Professor Bruce: I’m a small belief in what they sell. They
ing, but job keeping. According What makes you feel better; a business owner and have never
what they sell. They are constantly learning and
to most people, our economy is in little stronger or braver? U2 on had any formal training in sell- are constantly learning know their product inside out.
crisis, and workers everywhere your iPod? A can-do mantra? A ing. What can I do to be better What really makes the dif-
are full of white-knuckle fear. long run at lunch? Identify that at the sales process and grow
and know their product ference is their confidence.
What may happen next? one little thing, your own per- my business? inside out. What really A customer can sense a sales
Bill Treasurer, founder of the sonal “fear buster,” and use it Answer: Here are a few ideas: person’s confidence and belief.
national training company Giant early and often. According to Barry Farber,
makes the difference Once you lose your confidence
Leap Consulting and author of 5. Just say “no” to the pity party. author of “The 12 Cliches of Sell- is their confidence. in what you do, so will the
“Courage Goes to Work” (Ber- It’s tempting to commiserate ing” (Workman) and “Superstar customer.
rett-Koehler), offers these five with co-workers. Don’t do it. It Sales Secrets” (Career Press), begin to build trust because 5. Follow up and follow through.
tips to help workers deal with will stoke your fears and shake “There are many key attributes you’re focused on their needs, What really shows the cus-
fear in scary economic times. your confidence even more. that are needed for success in not your own. tomer your value is how you
1. Refocus on your work. You can change the negative selling.” 3. Build long-term relationships. follow up after a sale or after
Fear is the enemy of productiv- tide and have a positive effect on Here are five strategies that If you want to build your busi- you’ve promised them some
ity. Get clear on what needs to be your co-workers and customers can make a huge difference in ness, start thinking about ways information. Every time you
done, right here, right now. And by being positive and productive. how you sell and how much you to build your prospects and cus- follow up, make sure you have a
then go about the business of Bad news sells but a positive atti- sell: tomers’ business. How can you new idea or new information to
doing it. If you’re not contribut- tude is contagious, so spread the 1. Great salespeople learn how introduce them to people and share so you’re always looked
ing, you may be in danger. Know positive germ all around you and to listen and listen to learn. organizations that would help upon as positive. Go back to
your job, and then do it. watch what happens. Get out of your mind what them? People buy from people every one of your customers
2. Stop playing it safe. You just might help ensure you’re selling and start think- they like, trust and respect. and thank them for their busi-
Ditch the herd. While everyone your own future, and that’s a ing about what your custom- When you’re seen as someone ness and ask if there is any-
else is hiding, you can stand up good thing. ers are selling and what their who constantly adds value, the thing you’re not doing that you
and stand out, getting noticed for Marvin Walberg is a job goals are. relationship goes to a whole new could be doing to serve them
your talent and contributions. It’s search coach. Contact him at 2. The real key is to get beneath level and business seems much better.
easy to follow the herd. It takes mwalberg(at), mar- the surface and understand easier to close. Bruce Freeman is president
effort to lead., or PO your customer’s key buying 4. Develop unshakable confidence. of ProLine Communications, a
3. Form a posse. Box 43056, Birmingham, AL criteria, goals and challenges. A positive attitude is one of the marketing and public relations
Create an inner circle — a 35243. Once you start doing that you most important characteristics firm in Livingston, N.J.
When the going gets tough,

the tough keep advertising

Strong marketing during recessions means stronger business
Studies show:
pays off, and
keeps paying
Over the years, hundreds of
studies have been conducted on
how companies deal with adver-
tising during a recession.
After World War II, Buchen
Advertising Inc. decided to plot
the sales of a large number of
advertisers through succes-
sive recessions. In 1947, Buchen
began measuring the annual
advertising expenditures of each
company. When the figures were
correlated with sales and profit
trends before, during and after
the recessions of 1949, 1954, 1958
and 1961, they showed that almost
without exception, sales and
profits dropped off at companies
that cut back on advertising. The
studies also revealed that after
the recessions ended, those com-
panies continued to lag behind
the ones that had maintained
By Donna Green their advertising budgets.
Five recession-related pitfalls In 1979, another study by ABP/
Meldrum & Fewsmith, covering
It may be human instinct to hoard cash in  Cutting expenses too slowly. Don’t cut and sales. the recession of 1974 to 1975 and
tough times, but it can be a self-destructive expenses a little bit at a time. Now is the time to look  Lacking systems to free up your time. post-recession years, showed
one if it means cutting back on advertising at expenses and decide whether your company needs Streamline your business and become more efficient. similar findings.
and marketing dollars, according to numer- to cut expenses 5, 10 or up to 20 percent. Do what it Use a handheld organizer to keep track of phone “Companies which did not cut
ous experts and studies. takes early in the year and bring costs down. numbers, dates, appointments and meetings. Set a advertising expenditures during
the recession years (1974-1975),
Here are three good reasons why savvy  Maintaining the same product and service time each week to handle routine tasks, bills and
experienced higher sales and net
business people continue to seek out new mix. Your needs are changing. You can bet your cli- paperwork.
income during those two years
customers, even when profits are squeezed. ents’ needs have changed, too. Call your clients and  Keeping everything to yourself. Your team
and the two years following than
1. History shows advertising in hard times pays off ask them what they need. Then design your product knows the economy is tough and wants to understand companies which cut ad bud-
“Over the last hundred years or so, studies service mix around those needs. what the company is facing and how. Together, you gets in either or both recession
of every recession have shown that if you pull  Reducing marketing instead of focusing on can make it through. Lead toward a brighter future by years,” the study said.
back, you lose market share and investment,” marketing. The company that stands tall, strong and focusing your efforts on today. Another study by MarketSense
said Beth Vendice, president of Advanced visible in the marketplace has stature and status. Source: SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, during the 1989-to-1991 recession
Results Marketing in Marlborough. Differentiate with strong marketing to drive leads press release, Jan. 14, 2009. shows brands such as Jif peanut
“Even after the recessionary period, the com- butter and Kraft salad dress-
panies that advertised not only increased their be able to increase your reach by 10 to 20 But the Mandalay Resort Group, owners ing increased their advertising
sales over that period, but they came out stron- percent. of the Las Vegas strip properties of Manda- and experienced sales growth
ger than the competition that pulled back.” “There are lots of benefits in being a savvy lay Bay, Excalibur, Luxor, and Circus, Circus, of 57 percent and 70 percent
Vendice’s company specializes in direct- marketer in this environment,” she said. were back advertising within 15 to 30 days. respectively.
response marketing, which is designed to get But just as you are looking for value in “TV rates were extremely inexpensive at At the same time, while most
a consumer to take a specific action, such as advertising, so too are your customers looking that time and it was a very profitable subse- of the beer industry cut bud-
clipping a coupon, calling a toll-free number, for value from your business. You should be quent quarter for some of them,” she said. gets, Coors Light and Bud Light
registering on a Web site or anything else emphasizing value-oriented offers and keeping Value-oriented casinos like Circus, Circus increased theirs. They saw sales
that would turn a person into a lead. in touch with loyal customers, Vendice said. and Excalibur were the first ones back up jump 15 percent and 16 percent
“Everything is quantifiable,” Vendice “Reassure them about your presence in this with action-driven, value-oriented offers that respectively. Among fast food
explained. “You can see leads generated per economy,” she said. also preserved the brand, Vendice said. chains, Pizza Hut sales rose
dollar spent.” And of course, remind them of the value Prominent public relations executive Brian 61 percent and Taco Bell’s 40
2. You get more for your advertising dollar your company brings to their life. Solis had this to say on the topic in a Decem- percent, again thanks to strong
This is a buyer’s marker for advertising, 3. Your competitors will lose market share to you ber piece on advertising support.
Vendice said. Hard times give you an opportunity to gain “Customers, do not stop making decisions Excerpted from “Recession
“The market is so soft right now, you market share as competitors pull back, Ven- — they’re just more discerning during vola- Marketing Strategies,” by Ed Clark
can take advantage of lots of efficiencies in dice said. tile economic climates. But make no mistake, and published in November 2001 in
Spokane Journal of Business. Repro-
media,” she explained. Immediately after the terrorist attacks if you choose to stop vying for customer
duced by permission of Clark and The
In 2009, she said, with a budget equivalent against America on Sept. 11, 2001, she said, attention, the world will move ahead without
Clark Company,
to the one you had two years ago you should some clients wanted to “pull everything.” you.”