Brad Kugler, CEO of DirectMail 2.0, has over 25 years of experience in the marketing industry specializing in direct mail advertising, online sales, and lead generation. In this article, Brad shares with USF CONNECT insightful tips that address how to prioritize business relations and identify opportunities in hard times.
"In times like these, it’s important to grab hold of a few simple actions to stay focused on. I have outlined five stable data that helped me to steer confidently and clearly through tough times over the years"
My business career has transcended the last three recessions. I have always felt you learn more in the tougher times than you do in the times of plenty. It is when fighting for survival that most people are at their best. This is what I have learned over the past 30 years and three recessions:
- What does not kill you makes you stronger & this would not kill you. Yes, there will be a struggle and some pain, but financial distress would not kill you. There is no such thing as a debtor’s prison in the USA. If you cannot pay your bills, oh well. As long as you have your health and ability, you can also do something else if it all goes sideways. So just breathe and remember this.
- Focus on what matters: This is the time that judgment comes in. Is what you are doing going to result in revenue or reduced expenses in the short term? If the answer is no, time to do something else that would change the answer to yes. It is not the time to discuss future product launches, hires, conventions, etc. Bring in revenue and keep expenses low. Everything else is of lesser or no priority.
- Cut the Fat. Anything non-essential to the survival of the business, in the short term, should be put aside. This includes sub-quality personnel, monthly services, etc. Nothing is sacred. Take the emotion out of it and use logic. Does that person, facility, or expense help keep the business alive in the short term or contribute to revenue; if the answer is no, its gone, today.
- Follow the Money. Times of economic shift will create new trends in terms of what the customers and consumers need and want. If you are sensing a seismic shift in demand for your product or service, start testing variations of offerings. A business's lifespan is only as long as there is a continuing demand for your product or service. Recessions and slow-downs are a time of change. Be ready to look for that change and be open to opportunities right in front of you.
- ABS+ABL = Success. Always Be Selling and Always Be Learning. If you are not doing those two things, you will be slowing dying in any economic situation. The two things work together. You need to stay on top of markets, trends, products, services, competitors, processes to stay efficient and to stay alive. Then you better be selling, selling includes marketing to the right people at the right time!
Getting to Know Brad
Brad Kugler has been a serial entrepreneur for 30 years now. He has experience in growing businesses from almost nothing to $25 million in sales. Brad is the CEO of DirectMail 2.0, a marketing-based solution designed to seamlessly track client’s direct mail campaigns and enhances the overall results through cross-channel marketing on the Google Display Network and Social Media.
"The biggest challenge is the constant roadblocks or unknowns that come up and mustering the intelligence and ingenuity to get around those and out-create them."
- The hustle an interview with Brad Kugler, Megan Holmes, The Catalyst