Marcus Lemonis was the guest speaker at this month’s Latin American Economic Development Authority (LAEDA) dinner at the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in Camden. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lemonis, he is the chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, and the star of CNBC’s The Profit, a reality show about saving small businesses. One of his key themes of the evening was the responsibility that comes along with running a business. Giving back to the community was a key topic, but during the course of the question and answer period, someone asked him about return on investment models and how he decides whether or not to buy a broken business. To our surprise, Lemonis said he doesn’t really factor return on investment into his decision-making, but instead looks more at people, process and product.
I couldn’t help but think that what’s driven our business over the last twenty seven years and the fact that “committed” people are an essential part of our company’s success. Profits always follow good business practices driven by good people!
So, from a billionaire to a struggling entrepreneur there is another valuable lesson to be learned . . . care about your people your business will flourish.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a presentation made by Noam Wasserman of The Harvard Business School and sponsored by Edison Partners of Lawrenceville NJ. Professor Wasserman spoke about his bestselling book, The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, which resulted from over a decade of research and collaboration, studying business entrepreneurs and why their companies failed over time.
Wasserman concludes that over 65% of businesses fail as a result of poorly defined roles and responsibilities. In addition, there is a lack of clear understanding about leadership roles in the new company.
Poor communications is an issue that rarely goes away. If you understand that many businesses fail due to poor internal communication, you can look back to the development of the brand and why the brand is important to the employees of the company. This effort requires a diligent process of understanding the language stakeholders use when describing the product or service. Once we’ve distilled the common words and phrases used in the research, we begin the process of building the brand positioning statement which becomes the touchstone for all communications going forward. The communications I refer to includes all internal as well as external communications. The message being delivered to internal and external stakeholders must be consistent and true, factual and steady. Consistent messaging and by-in by employees can only help the advancement of the delivery of the brand promise.
The lesson here is that it is always difficult to talk about issues that confound and frustrate us, but like the proverbial elephant in the room, the topic will come back to haunt us. Be prepared to understand what people want and distill the message into thoughtful, consistent language and you will go a long way to insure your company is successful.
This recent blog post on Slate.com recaps a report detailing how Olive Garden has lost its brand focus (the report is from hedge fund Starboard Value and there are links in the post that get you to more details). It’s an important reminder about the importance of brand engagement at all levels of an organization.
Say what you will about the food, at its heart Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant. From Slate.com: ” ‘According to Darden management, Darden decided to stop salting the water to get an extended warranty on their pots,’ Starboard, which is in a proxy fight for control over Darden’s board, explains. ‘Pasta is Olive Garden’s core dish and must be prepared properly. This example shows how disconnected Darden management is from restaurant operations and how little regard Darden management has for the guest experience. If you Google ‘how to cook pasta,’ the first step of Pasta 101 is to salt the water.’ “
Those of you who listen to podcasts and/or National Public Radio have probably heard This American Life. It’s a great show, right? I love it too but rarely do I find a business justification for listening until a recent episode went straight to my heart as a marketer. Give it a listen . . . it’s worth a hour of your time.
Episode 533: It’s Not the Product, It’s the Person
Starting a business is not for the self-doubting. Or even usually the self-deprecating. The first thing you have to sell is yourself — like dating, but with a greater chance of landing in debt. Alex Blumberg tells the incredible, sweat-stains-and-all saga of a man fumbling through starting a new business, and the man is: himself. Plus, new stories from Mike Birbiglia and Love + Radio.
It’s been a busy few months with seven new clients taking advantage of our services.
• Mark Architectural Lighting – marketing
• UIH Family Partners – marketing
• One2edit by 1io – business development
• Brandmark by Mediawide – business development
• MIDJersey Chamber – business development
• Bracco Diagnostics – warehousing and fulfillment
• DSM – warehousing and fulfillment
We look forward to working with these companies and exceeding their expectations!
The Mega Group has a long history of being a trusted marketing communications partner, but with the addition of Director of Business Development Lauri Levy to our team, we now officially offer an expanded suite of services. Lauri is a successful business owner in her own right, and she now heads up the business development consulting practice for The Mega Group. Lauri works with companies across a broad range of industries to help promote their businesses. To learn more, visit our business development practice area.
Launching a new formulation of a successful rheumatoid arthritis drug begins with informing the team on the ground of the remarkable potential, both medically and in terms of market share. The Mega Group joined forces with frequent partner Managed Solutions LLC to develop the value proposition and create the tools required for a successful internal launch for managed markets. We built on the intrinsic themes of new flexibility of use, a new audience who will benefit, and new market potential. A spirit video that we created was reprised throughout the three day launch meeting.