Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year: New Business Model?

A leading film postproduction business owner talked in the press recently about "a whole new contemporary business model." The NYT tells of ad agencies (former ad
agencies, perhaps?) who make and sell chocolate and furniture and tee shirts. Bake sale, anyone?!

Jim Cramer says, "Recessions are game-changers. It's when those who are smart pass those who are not." Paul Krugman said in the NYT that late 2009 the economy will begin to stabilize and he is fairly optimistic about 2010. So hadn't we better be getting fired up to be a part of it?

At the highest level the new business model will be like the old. We will provide clients with what is wanted and valued, we will invest in our businesses, we will charge a premium for exceptional talent, we will value-price, we will market effectively, we will create better stuff than the next guy. We will make profits. What am I missing here?

Oh yes - what exactly is wanted,and what exactly can you and your company do to provide it.

Marketers will still want to get more cans in people's hands, more site traffic, more bottoms in seats, more customer loyalty, more revenue. Customers will want more things of beauty, more entertainment, more value for money, more ways of expressing themselves, more security, more hope. So what is the Customer Value Proposition that you can bring to your target customer? Know this, and you'll be well on the way to your new business model.

We call ourselves creative people - here is a great creative challenge. Are we having fun yet?

All the best for an exciting and profitable 2009

Making To-Do Lists Work for you

Do you have a to-do list? I do. Some of you even have to-do lists that consultants have made for you.

How long have things been on that list? If you are like me, checking the list is probably on the list. Doing these checks makes me feel: Okay that was progress - now I can go off and make a pot of coffee. This is not so good.

There are several reasons that things get done and off my list.
1. It was fun to do.
2. It was easy to get started.
3. I got someone else to do it.
4. I really, really wanted to get it done.
5. It was on my calendar for a particular date and I did it on that date (that is such a good trick)
6. I decided it was silly or unnecessary and took it off the list.

I am sure you can come up with more reasons that work for you.

But what about those things that are still there? Go through them and figure out how to change them so they meet one of these requirements for getting done. Make it something you'd have fun doing, or get someone else to do it, or put it on the calendar - choose the way that you have shown will get results for you. Because a to-do list is worse than worthless if you never do the things on it.

Business Slow? Get your people ready for what's next

I have been telling my clients that when business is slow, this is a wonderful time to rev up your team with training and motivation. Improve their spirits and strengthen their skills: whether it's team building, learning new software, or making a spec promotional piece - have them do something that will make them more productive contributors - and will make them more valuable to you when business picks up.

A leading management mag tells that one software company reported 50% greater productivity from teams who had undergone team training than from teams that had not.

50%! That's a lot. And it's a lot more fun than sleeping on the desk.