Planning, customer satisfaction keys to survival

“Recharging Your Business” is this year’s Androscoggin Business to Business Trade Show theme. In light of that, we asked our exhibitors if and how they have spent time on innovating, collaborating, and trying to thrive in this economy. Following are comments from Linda A. MacMillan, Vice President & Marketing Officer for Maine Bank & Trust.

How is your business surviving this economy?  Very well, as our parent company, People’s United Bank is one of the healthiest financial institutions in the US – Barron’s has given it excellent reports, and mentioned it among only “a handful to have scorned government funding…and win the hearts of investors as well
as taxpayers.”  (this from 2/10/09 article entitled “These Banks Don’t Need Your Help”.
How do you maintain employee morale?   Lots of communication; good employee recognition programs that continue despite budgetary restrictions. 
What are you doing now to ensure your company is even stronger in the future?  Strategic planning, cautionary budgeting guidelines, maintaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction, ongoing risk management, keeping in touch with employee needs and continuously offering the best in training and HR/OE programs.  Learning from the bad judgments of other firms.
How is your organization saving money?  Reducing some marketing and contributions budgets, engaging employees to save on unnecessary expenses in creative ways – for example, use your own coffee mugs, not expensive cardboard ones.
Is your organization focused on sustainability? How?   Yes, via the above efforts and more. 
How can your business or organization help other businesses weather this economic storm?  Share ideas that work. 
Are you optimistic about the future? If so, why? If not, why not?  Yes, particularly in Maine where people are used to working hard in the face of economic hard times.  Mainers are resilient and highly creative in employment opportunities. 
Do you have any survival tips for colleagues in organizations big or small?  The old (adage to) keep your network going at all times, and volunteer as much as possible. 
Do you have a suggested reading list consisting of books or other publications that cover these topics? Can you recommend a book about any of these topics?   There is always good advice and columns in the Wall Street Journal. 

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