Fall is typically a good time for business activity. In conversations with our predominantly transportation clientele, most companies are climbing their way back to previous revenues but not staffed or equipped to the point they were pre-recession. The result, fewer cooks making more meals and thus everyone is busy, busy, busy!
When things are going well, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking you’re more or less invincible. I’ve come to realize all business walks a tightrope and even with a net, it’s tough to recover from a fall like most have gone through this past couple of years. For those of us big and small who survived, it’s been an education in humility.
Business by its nature is made up of peaks and valleys. You can never let up. The hard work and focus we’ve all applied during this past recessional valley needs to continue even when we find ourselves nearing the next peak. Like the song says, “keep your eye on the road and your hands upon the wheel.”
I believe the business world has shifted to a new path that none of us have gone down before.
A long standing supplier to our company closed its doors last week. We moved away from them 2 years ago after 10 years of being a loyal customer. Why? They didn’t listen or respond to some key concerns we had. Instead the owner bad mouthed his competition and dismissed our request as some kind of bluff. As it turns out, he was easily replaced by a better alternative. That being said, I was still truly sorry to see his business fail… it was an unnecessary tragedy.
Lee’s Quote for the Day
“Having your own business for twenty years is just like a marriage but without the sex…on second thought, having your own business is exactly like being married.”
In one of my blogs not too far back, I suggested that if you have a diversified service mix you need to maintain the quality of each product to a similar high standard…maybe not. Last night some musician friends of mine were backing up a Japanese blues guy and invited me to come by. After viewing the performance it made me rethink my previous stance.
So here is a young blues man who has studied the traditional greats like Little Walter, Muddy Walters, Big Joe Williams and so on. His main thing is playing harp (harmonica) and he is extremely good at it, way above average and most definitely at a professional level. Born in Japan, he hasn’t quite mastered the English language and you can clearly hear a thick accent in his voice. If he had started off singing, you might have dismissed him totally as a bad karaoke performer, for at first it’s almost comical to hear his rendition of the traditional blues classics that make up his repertoire. But…
..but he started off with his strongest talent first. He was very credible as a blues harp player so you gave him a little more rope before judging his vocal abilities. And guess what? Although an acquired taste, he was very sincere in his performance and within a few songs you couldn’t help but accept him. And after a set of his brand of blues, with an awesome back up band (another immediate source of credibility) and confident performance…he was an undeniable hit.
It was a bit of an epiphany for me and maybe a lesson for us all. If we lead with our strength, are prepared and confident… maybe clients will let us sing the occasional number that is a little out of tune, providing we continue to impress them with our core service talents.
Lee’s quote for the day
“It’s probably true that you never get a second chance at a first impression… so let’s hone our talent and lead with our strength so that by association, the odd sour notes that come later aren’t quite as noticeable!”
I just came from seeing the movie Kick Ass. It was kind of like Ninja Assassin meets Revenge of the Nerds. A somewhat dark but comical super hero flick that puts a capital “S” on the idea of spinning an old idea. It was highly engaging and entertaining with young Chloe Moretz delivering an outstanding performance. At age 13 she already has 19 movies to her credit and the foul mouthed little Hit Girl (her character in the movie) is certainly worth a watch.
Oddly enough, watching this flick filled me with renewed enthusiasm on our quest to constantly raise the creative bar, especially within the transportation niche of our marketing business. Even though we deal with similar service offerings and visual elements across our customer base, there is always a way to put a fresh spin on things…if you dig deep enough. I would suggest that the “missing piece of the puzzle”, “one call does it all”, “single source solution”, “big enough to serve you, small enough to care”, some version of “our people make the difference” and having a swoosh or globe in your logo will be items that we’ll put a little further back on our personal “spin it” list…if our customers allow us that opportunity.
Roger Miller, a prolific hit songwriter of the sixties and seventies said “I try to write things people haven’t heard for a while”. There are an infinite amount of fresh spins out there. Like a new combination of notes in a melody, it’s our job as marketers to identify them and bring them to life, adding a little can of kick ass to each project along the way!