The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

How Do You Grow During a Recession?

Some companies are doing well during these tough economic times. That’s why I sat down with David Durick of gotoBilling, www.gotobilling.com, to find out the secret to their success (and how marketing has played a role in their significant growth over the past year).David Durick, gotoBilling.com

Here’s what David had to say…

What do you do at gotoBilling.com and how long have you been with the company?

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I’ve been with the company for three years now. My official title is Director of Operations, but I do a little bit of everything. 

One of our big projects is building a new style of support modeled after another company that did wonders with the concept. It’s how our support staff will not only handle customer support and training, but will also handle the sales.

That way, when we work with customers, they never have to deal with different departments and different people from their initial call to ongoing support.

To accomplish this, I help with training, operations, and the workflow from our CRM system and how the rest of our internal systems tie together.

The concept is that from the beginning when someone calls, there’s one person that handles all the customer interaction so the customer always feels a strong connection to who’s helping them and that person never gets lost in the shuffle from one department to the next. 

I also work a fair amount on SEO on our Web site and do a little sales as well. Then, there’s also helping with the design and testing of new features as that falls into my Operations category of responsibilities.

Operations is always a broad category which I like as it really allows me to help with the overall working operations of an entire company so we are all moving in the right direction and in step with each other and each department.  

gotoBilling.com experienced a 307% volume increase during the recession. What is your secret to success?

Well, I think there are a couple of things. Number one is that every business still needs the ability to handle their payments and do it cost effectively.

Our system is much easier to use than other systems so it saves people valuable time, helps speed up their collection of funds, and since we handle multiple forms of payment many different ways for a business, then we have a real impact on helping a business streamline some of their processes. 

I think that is what has allowed us to continue growing during this downturn in the economy compared to many other companies. Also, and maybe most importantly, we didn’t make any budget cuts in marketing our services.

What do you do differently than other, similar businesses that are currently struggling due to the recession?

We kept on marketing and didn’t cut the budget. In fact, we increased our marketing and sales budget as that is the life-blood of a company. From what I hear, that might also have been a big factor in what we did compared to other businesses.

What can other e-commerce businesses do now to be more successful during these tough economic times?

Don’t stop marketing! 

To me, that’s the main thing to do. Now that the economy is tough, your competitors are cutting back on marketing and sales so it’s prime time to increase yours and grab the business. 

It’s sort of like buying property when the price is down. There are less people bidding to buy so it’s a better market. It’s the same thing when selling a product. There might be less businesses buying, but if your competitors have cut back their advertising, yours will stand out more for the ones that are still buying.�
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For more great tips from David and how his company is thriving during these tough times, check back on Thursday.

In the meantime, please feel free to send me your comments and PR questions here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

About the Author: Melanie Rembrandt

Since our initial launch date, Melanie Rembrandt has been an integral part of the StartupNation team. As the founder of Rembrandt Communications®, LLC, www.rembrandtwrites.com, Melanie is one of the country's top, public-relations consultants, an SEO content strategist and a published [...]

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