Posts Tagged ‘revenue’

When I was researching the book, Breaking Through the Barrrier: What Companies That Grow Do Differently, I would often ask business owners,

Do you want to grow your business?

While I received a range of answers, the typical response was some variant of, “Well, yeah, sure.”  When I probed a bit deeper, asking how much do you want to grow your business, I’d usually get an answer that involved traditional metrics such as market share, annual revenue or head count.  But these traditional metrics ignore one profound truth:

In a privately owned business, the owner’s life should be better because he or she owns the business.

Better is, obviously, a subjective term.  For some owners, better might mean more money – for others, more time off.  A better life could also mean doing work that makes the world a better place.  The problem with traditional metrics is that they don’t address the owner’s quality of life.

So it might be productive to look at business and growth through a slightly different lens.  It’s a lens that helps an owner consider how he or she wants to be involved in the business – a lens that helps clarify what activity the owner wants to engage in on a day-to-day basis – a lens that illuminates how the owner wants to live his or her life.

There are, essentially, four business structures:

  1. Hands-On: The owner does some or all of the work.
  2. Owner-Operated: The owner supervises the line level employees.
  3. Managed: The owner manages the managers.
  4. Enterprise: The owner is largely removed from day-to-day operations.

While to some extent revenue dictates the structure of the business, revenue isn’t the only determinant.  Let me use a couple of my friends to illustrate.  Mike Pasley owns Central Packaging.  Danny O’Neill owns The Roasterie.  These businesses have a similar revenue, cost of goods sold and overhead structure.  Mike operates in the Owner-Operated structure and Danny operates in the Enterprise structure.  Mike has a high need for control and is committed to a methodical approach.  Danny lives at 30,000 feet and abhors operational details.

Both of these guys have profitable, growing businesses and from what I can tell, both guys are happy.  But if for some reason they had to switch places, they’d both be miserable.  It’s not about revenue or market share or profit – it’s about how they live their lives.

How big your business should be depends on how you want to live your life.  If you’re happy in the owner-operated structure, will you be as happy when growth forces you into the managed structure?  Can you accept the loss of control that inevitably comes with growth?  Is your life really going to be better if your business is bigger?

Social Media BRANDing – 5 tips to make it work

by Deepika Bajaj on February 25, 2010

Digital branding in the new internet marketing age is creating the need for marketers to understand how they can measure social media interactions with their brand, how to measure social brand loyalty and create social brand equity. Companies are more and more interested in learning how to make social media work. There are many assets on the internet that a company can create using Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and many other such channels. And then this creates a need for them to manage their digital presence and brand.

Here are some channels that companies have frequently started to build:

1. Facebook Fan pages
2. FB Connect
3. Twitter Channel
4. SEO and Ad Targeting
5. Social media enabled company web sites

But the HOT question still remains – What next? How to set goals and identify gaps?

Here are some of my recommendations:

1. Revenue Growth: The social media activity needs to have a strategy to increase revenue. It is important to choose social media tools and tactics that align with increase in engagement to ultimately drive revenue growth. This is a distribution channel to leverage information you develop daily. Don’t be afraid of social networking or Twitter. Virtual Goods and Gaming are huge opportunities as are fun quizzes and polls and other lead generation activities.

2. Know your customer: Social Gaming and social media are NOT for teenagers only. It is important to know your customer. Millions of people visit FB and Twitter daily. It is important to know where to find your customer or draw their attention if there is something you feel might of interest to them. Don’t limit yourself based on what you know, try to find out who your customer is and how easy it is for them to find you where they are.

3. Content is KING: Content is still relevant to draw the attention. If you have something that people value, they will be drawn to learn more. If they find it meaningful and relevant what you have, then they will come back for more. Eventually, you will build credibility and they will purchase – take us back to point #1.

4. Mobile: Be on TOP of your mobile strategy. My iPhone is my mini computer and I don’t go anywhere without it. So, If I am your consumer, you want me to have access to you while on the move. The cool iPhone Apps that allow you to check in to airlines, pay bills and order pizza are examples of how companies are finding ways to be close to the customer.

5. Build Relationships: Cannot emphasize on this enough. If you have strong relationships, competition will find it hard to break in. Response to customer queries is critical and don’t forget if one customer praises you – you will be making GOLD. So, do whatever it takes to keep your customer happy. I say give them such a incredible experience that they never switch to your competition and become your unpaid, voluntary brand ambassadors online and offline