Garrett clung desperately to the cold steel platform of his tree stand, his feet dangling high above the forest floor. It was October 23, 2008, just four days before Garrett and Cheryl’s third wedding anniversary. Garrett’s life flashed through his mind. He saw Amber in her high chair at dinner last evening—her charming ice cream face. He imagined Cheryl’s widowed future . . .
For the last fifteen minutes, Garrett had struggled futilely to wrap his legs around the tree trunk. He yelled one more time, even though he knew no one was close enough to hear. He felt the air chill as the sun sank behind the mountain.
In 1855 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”
Over the years this has been boiled down to this pithy statement: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”
This seems like a simple formula (better product = sales success), but you can probably identify what is missing: how is the world going to find out about the better mousetrap? We could revise that formula this way…
“How has business been going for you?” Fred asked James.
“It’s crazy busy,” James replied, “We are booked all the way into next year. I’ve never seen it like this. We just can’t keep up.”
How many times has a conversation like this happened in Anabaptist circles in the last year? Many of our businesses are thriving like never before. Employers are having trouble finding and keeping employees to handle the surge of work.
If your business is in this situation, you might wonder whether you should stop your marketing campaigns. After all, why invest in marketing when you are deluged with orders? This article provides insight into this question.
“Did you move your business to Kansas?” Jeff asked.
“No!” Sam responded. “We are still right here in Lancaster County, PA where we have been for the last 40 years! Why do you ask?” Jeff was one of the top dealers of Free Rock Equipment and certainly would have been informed of any major changes in the company.
Sam soon learned that one of Free Rock’s dealers in Kansas had purchased the domain name freerockequipment.com on the internet. The dealer then set up a website at that website address that posed as the manufacturer’s website. The information was misleading and caused a lot of confusion with other Free Rock dealers and with equipment users.
We are accustomed to using GPS to give us our location, but did you ever wonder how sailors were able to navigate around the world before the days of GPS?
With ocean currents, changing winds, dense fog, angry storms, relentless waves, and no landmarks in sight on the open seas, how could a ship set off from Boston and have any chance of reaching Bombay thousands of miles away? Yet in the 1600-1800s, global shipping was a big business, with ships routinely sailing from Europe and the Americas to ports in the Far East and back again.
While there are no visible landmarks in the ocean, there are marks in the sky—the sun and stars. Navigators used tools like the sextant in determining their ship’s longitude and latitude. The sextant allowed a navigator to measure the angle between the sun or star and the horizon.
A purchase is an exchange of value: I give you $5,000 in exchange for a backyard storage shed. You pay $50,000 for a piece of equipment, and in exchange, the dealer delivers and installs the equipment and teaches you how to run it. My wife pays the grocery store $100, and in exchange, the store allows her to walk out of the store with a cart of groceries. When we pay money but don’t think that we received the same or equal value in return, we feel cheated.
When business owners spend money on marketing, they worry about not getting anything valuable in return. That’s because it’s often hard to see what we got in exchange for our money. Decades ago, businessman John Wanamaker said, “I know half of my advertising dollars are wasted. I just don’t know which half.”
What books can inspire and challenge you as a leader? To wrap up 2021, we asked several Rosewood managers and senior team members to share their top leadership reads of 2021 (and beyond).
The President of the United States is sometimes called the most powerful man in the world. Suppose that the President sends a bill that contains many popular provisions to Congress, and Congress passes it. A signing ceremony is scheduled, the TV cameras are set up, and the President signs the bill with much pomp and ceremony. He makes a short speech about making the United States a better place.
“How much should we budget for marketing?” That’s a question that dozens of business owners have asked me.