New Year's Resolutions and Tips for Survival from Queen's School of Business

Faculty from Canada's No. 1 business school provide tips for survival in
    an economic downturnKINGSTON, ON, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - The start of a new year is typically an
exciting time for business leaders to set goals for success in the coming
year. But in today's economic climate, many people are simply hoping for
survival. Four top faculty members from Queen's School of Business have
compiled a list of New Year's resolutions to help corporate Canada weather the
storm.Ken Wong, Marketing:

    1.  Focus on marketing productivity. "Use segmentation, scale, loyalty
        management, partnerships and brand equity - to generate cost
        reductions that won't destroy your quality. These gains will help
        finance the opportunities - yes, opportunities! - that come in an
        economic downturn."

    2.  Maintain sales and marketing spending. "Slashing sales and marketing
        efforts during a downturn can do lasting harm to your brand. When you
        cut a sales rep, you aren't saving payroll, you're losing a personal
        relationship with a buyer. The benefits that accrue from retaining a
        strong sales force, like continuity and expertise, are key. Companies
        left scrambling to rehire in the recovery stage - and there will be
        many - will be the losers."

    3.  Don't confuse better value with lower price. "Create value for the
        customer by translating productivity into better quality or more
        quantity at current prices, and by turning your features into value-
        based benefits. If prices must be cut, do it temporarily through
        sales promotions, coupons and rebates."

    4.  Target weak competitors. "Recessions cull the herd - there will be
        casualties and their customers are the low hanging fruit for your
        business. Remember that because they have just lost a supplier, they
        will be more responsive to sellers that show they are a stable,
        committed and secure source of supply."

    Jay Handelman, Marketing & CSR:

    5.  Continue to invest in CSR. "Authentic devotion to social
        responsibility, even in tough times, will strengthen any
        organization's position after the economic downturn. Staying devoted
        to a cause or issue through thick and thin demonstrates commitment,
        and many customers and employees will be more willing to go that
        extra mile for you in return."

    Barry Cross, Operations Management and Technology:

    6.  Lean innovation is good in any economy. "Many executives believe that
        the scarce resources and short term focus that often come with a
        tough economy are barriers to innovation. However, a shift to "lean
        innovation" - which involves fine-tuning existing products and
        processes - empowers employees, boosts morale and can provide new
        value to customers. Lean thinking may eliminate what your customer
        doesn't understand or want, and help enhance the products or services
        they do want."

    7.  Keep the innovation door open. "Because employees are a key source of
        ideas and innovation, make sure you keep the culture innovation-
        friendly even in tough economic times. For example, refresh meetings
        with new viewpoints or locations, run with a different agenda or
        simply shut off e-mail for a few hours each week."

    8.  Capture ideas. "Write all ideas down, even those that may not be
        applicable right now. More importantly, every organization needs some
        process where employees can get ideas to the people who can approve
        or implement them. And don't forget execution. There's a big
        difference between an idea not working and a failure to implement the
        idea."

    Douglas Reid, Business Strategy:

    9.  Accept that "more" may be unrealistic. "Keep one eye firmly fixed on
        the medium- and long-terms, plus another focused squarely on day-to-
        day operations. Exhorting employees to do extraordinary things
        regardless of the business environment is morale-destroying and
        futile. Better to keep everyone focused on thinking about what has to
        occur in a down market to build the capacity necessary to recapture
        profitability once sentiment has turned."

    10. Segment smaller. "The logic of interacting with a smaller, more
        attractive group of prospective buyers is intuitively attractive in a
        downturn. The growing fields of search engine optimization and social
        network marketing means you have an increased ability to micro-
        segment."

    11. Speak the truth. "All of your audiences want to hear the same thing -
        what your organization plans to do to get through 2009 and relaunch
        more strongly in 2010. They won't punish you for disclosing bad news
        - most companies will have lots - but will abandon confidence if they
        believe they're being spun."

    12. Fatten the supply chain. "Smart companies are creating (or, more
        realistically, activating) second sources of supply and examining
        what functions they could take in-house if necessary. If their
        suppliers and outsourcers are being squeezed so hard by others they
        may not survive and that would leave you stranded."About Queen's School of Business:

    Queen's School of Business (business.queensu.ca) is one of the world's
premier business schools - renowned for exceptional programs, outstanding
faculty and research, and the quality of its graduates. Canadian executives
regard Queen's as Canada's most innovative business school, offering students
academic excellence and a superior overall experience. Queen's School of
Business - where Canada's first Commerce program was launched in 1919 - is
located at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The School also delivers
programs at locations across Canada, as well in the U.S. and the United Arab
Emirates.




For further information: or to arrange interviews with any of these
faculty, please contact: Amy Davidson or Lisa Mills, Environics
Communications, (416) 920-9000, adavidson@environicspr.com,
lmills@environicspr.com