Just popped online to read a featured WSJ article about the benefits of revamping your company strategy at year-end. In expected fashion – the lead-in story is somewhat sad… It’s about an Atlanta business that is closing down their gym come January and going back to the original concept of in-home service provision. The business is losing thousands each month in overhead expenses. Yuck.
Just yesterday, during my early evening conference call, I listened to a very charismatic owner of a multi-million dollar company share that she only has 7 employees working from homes around the country and no full-time office space. It seems that they meet up every once in while on the road. But – quite frankly you would never be able to tell any of this from their empire-sized website. 7 employees – multiple millions. That’s small, nimble and highly profitable.
So clearly, the message to me is to stay small and nimble inside – big and mighty outside. That’s one of the things I ♥ about platforms. They allow for the generation of millions of dollars in revenue – a portion of which is residual. The maintenance and back office work can be outsourced to savvy service providers. Making this particular business model scalable to fantastic proportions with the addition of new products and services. And you can trek over to the computer in your pj’s to check your account first thing in the morning to see all the new sales. You gotta love that right?
In addition, you’re making a huge trade off on things like rent, utilities & CAM vs. Hosting fees or signage vs. logo and ad design. Things like marketing your business (of which you should be spending most of your time) still apply. But if your brick and mortar biz is hemorrhaging thousands every month and you’re focused on keeping the lights on and the bathroom stocked with toilet paper – who has money to market?
I do hope with her move to a small and nimble business model, she reaps success and peace of mind soon.
We are starting to see the push to using mobile barcodes in print marketing here in the US. Barcodes have already permeated the Pacific Rim market and we’ve started to implement their use in bigger ways within our client’s platforms. (If you’re not familiar with mobile barcodes and their use with smartphone technology – here’s an example of what Bluefly did recently.) As the article highlights, linking mobile content to mass media is compelling. But then, so is linking mobile media to all sorts of print materials including your on-premise marketing, sales & contract documentation, training materials, online videos, and integration within your social media. Our client’s barcodes will send people to a website, video link or podcast. The barcodes can even dial a phone number or send an email message.
I finished up a proposal yesterday for a new author (who we are super excited about launching!!!) that included a bit of history of how Jack Canfield pushed his first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to the New York Bestsellers list.
Here’s a little snippet ::
Jack Canfield and his team sold over 8 million copies of the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book and went on to produce over 40 New York Times bestsellers. They did this despite being self-published and almost unknown in the publishing industry then. Canfield developed a strategy after consulting with a variety of industry experts including marketing guru, Dan Poynter and John Kremer who wrote “1001 Ways to Market your Book” ultimately creating their own practice known as “The Rule of 5.”
The Rule of 5 suggests that we do a minimum of 5 tasks each day to move us toward our goals. Team Canfield used a combination of sustained effort, enthusiasm, eagerness and a strong desire to see their book catapult to the best seller lists. With each team member executing five things every day, Jack Canfield’s first book hit the New York Times bestseller list in 1 year.
This story had a profound impact on me when I read it; and all of our business development, sales and project plans are now based on this Rule of 5 and the power of sustained team effort.