Competition for customers will increase as the overall pie begins to shrink. Those companies with superior sales and customer value propositions have an opportunity to carve out a larger slice of the pie. For businesses accustomed to a strong tail wind, the rough economic conditions are going to require better cost controls, marketing performance, and operational efficiency. As business slows, business owners and leaders previously too busy managing existing business to optimize their operations are going to find themselves with time on their hands. It is critical that these business leaders make good use of this unexpected available time. The length and depth of the economic crisis is unknown. Even the strongest businesses are going to be put to the test. Lean, intelligent and executionally sound businesses will have a competitive advantage over less agile competitors. These businesses are better equipped to survive the economic storm and may emerge stronger than ever the economy recovers. Although few business leaders prefer a down market, those that use this time to improve their businesses and earn new customers will have the best chance to win in these troubled times.