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Warren Bennett: “Want to survive the downturn? Here’s three tips”

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"There are three things you need to focus on to survive the downturn," says Warren Bennett, who founded ASuitThatFits.com with David Hathiramani in 2006. "One: your customer. Two: your product. And three: your team."

Warren Bennett is bucking the downward trend by consistently coming up with new and clever ways to make his existing customer base feel loved. His web-based "Suit Wizard" is at the heart of the ASuitThatFits.com offering. This service allows customers to pick fabrics, styles, even buttons for their bespoke suits online. It’s free and his customers love it.

Most importantly, it’s not a gimmicky offer to win new business, its part of the service that draws existing customers back again and again.

"You’ve got to look at your existing customer base," says Bennett. "If you want to survive the downturn, it’s not about winning new customers. It’s about servicing your existing customers: what they need and what they want."

His second tip on how to survive the downturn: "Focus on product".

Warren Bennett says: "Focus on what you’re really really good at. Be known for being the best at it rather than rolling out new things that might be half-baked."

ASuitThatFits.com customers are extremely loyal to the company. It would be easy to launch a whole host of new products: women’s suits, for example. But, by rolling out new offerings slowly so that existing products do not suffer, Bennett is keeping his eye on the ball: men’s suits have proven successful for his firm. In a recession, it’s not worth risking cash on untried lines.

Lastly, the e-commerce entrepreneur says: "Focus on your team."

It’s no good having a great product and plenty of customers if your team fail to deliver, especially in a recession. "If you want to survive the downturn, build a really good team that’s motivated to deliver your product to your existing base," says Bennett.

"And I think that’s it!"

Watch the video of Warren Bennett speaking at the Entrepreneurs’ Summit on Google’s Survival of the Fastest channel.

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Monday, 20 July 2009
Asian business: the hot sectors; legacy; and the impact of recession
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