Yes, the economy has become a seriously hot topic. And all the suggestions on how to survive the recession we're in are not only valid, they are must do's. But as gas prices soar over $4.00 a gallon, home values drop, foreclosures rise, and our sitting president and the presidential candidates squabble over what should be done while they do nothing - this economic thrill ride we're on becomes even more hair raising. Add in reports of flat Mother's Day Gift Card sales and last week's Katie Couric story on the CBS Evening News on a nail tech who's drop off in business has her bringing her lunch to work - it's time for a shift of thinking.

To counteract the natural tendency of business owners and consumers to hunker down until the recovery that analysts predict will come in 12 to 18 months, mount your own economic offensive. If you believe in the law of attraction, continuing to "think" recession will only bring more recession. Why not think "recovery," get proactive and bring a return of the good times that much sooner? Simply put, smart business players will seize the moment while the competition waits for the storm to pass. And getting aggressive in your strategies and tactics today will help you emerge from the recession fit and strong while others survey the damage and regroup.

Here are some red-hot strategies to mount your own economic offensive:

    * Business as usual is as bad as hunkering down: How many gas crises does it take for the big automakers to learn a lesson? Now they're stuck with massive inventories of gas-guzzling hulks when they should have been leading the charge to hybrids and electric. If you think clients will just keep coming and spending because you're great - it's time to sound the call to battle stations. There's no difference between gas-guzzling hulks and an appointment book full of white space.

    * There's another 20% - if you go for it: I've been preaching this thinking for years. There's always more business to be had when the leader shifts to no-compromise thinking and behavior. But that means rallying and energizing the troops with a bold vision backed by clearly defined expectations. Want to add another 20% to revenues? Then jettison the "they won't buy in" thinking and get unstuck. Employees want to be led and they want to perform. It's time for that no-compromise leader in you to emerge and make things happen.

    * Create 90-day mini-games: Mounting an offensive means taking action that you can track and measure right now. Build two or three mini-games for June, July and August. Focus on record-breaking pre-booking, up-selling, retail sales, productivity rate, most package sales or highest salon or spa sales. Build your scoreboards, super-charge your daily huddles, make accountability the rule - and watch the recession as it passes by.


So is it hunker down or go on the offensive to vanquish recession thinking from your business? As the leader, it's a choice that you and you alone must make. Decide and everything else is all about taking action and accountability. And don't forget to celebrate and have fun. You and your team will deserve it.


-Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder  CEO

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