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Magic and Sushi – Part II

Yesterday the market dropped 777 points. Today, I am hoping to have sushi for lunch.

In my previous entry, I talked about two things in my personal life that have helped me in my business life. The first being my passion for magic, that is, ‘slight of hand’, illusions, card tricks and not Harry Potter making a broom talk kind of magic. The second being how I did a complete ‘180’ on sushi and went from believing that sushi restaurants were the grandest product of marketing ever, since no one could possibly like that stuff, to tracking all the sushi restaurants I have sampled in my travels across the county.

Magic has helped me because it has taught me to look at things differently, how to think about solutions differently and more often than not, how to not ‘over think’ a situation when the answer may be quite simple…much like a good magic trick.

My love for sushi has helped me because it is probably the single most profound example of me being so entirely wrong about something and the reason I am now enjoying the benefits of being proved wrong, is simply that I tried something new.

  • Another example would be how I was ‘married’ to my old CRM system…until I tried a new one.
  • “My favorite way to book a hotel could not be beat…until I tried a new one.
  • I believe you see where this is going.

Times are tough for most business owners. The economy is crawling at a snail’s pace and in order to ‘meet payroll’, many companies are going to have to, while they attempt to figure out the ‘magic trick of the day’…order a nice sampler platter of sushi and try something new.

For the past several years, we have been focusing on revenue growth with our clients. In the past year and a half, we have also learned to focus on cost containment. In doing so, we have learned there are many more ways to save money….big money, beyond keeping the thermostat at 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter.

A few of the more profound ways we have learned to directly impact your bottom line would be:

Wireless/Cell Phone Rate Plan Optimization – Granted this is more towards companies with a larger number of wireless units, be it AirCards, Blackberries, cell phones but we have learned, apart from the United States Federal Tax Code, there are few things as complicated as understanding a wireless bill/rate plan once you get over a certain amount of units. (Hint: There is a reason for this.) We have worked with companies that have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars annually just by getting an expert to look at their plan, recommend changes and implement those changes.

Negotiate Overnight Shipping Rates – In the A/E/C world, getting something there absolutely, positively the next day takes on a whole new meaning. If you are shipping at ‘retail rates’ there are good people out there than can negotiate for you a better rate or you pay nothing. How can you not want to try this?

Office Supplies – Yes, you can significantly add to your bottom line while purchasing paper clips, ‘sticky notes’ and pens. Negotiate an office supply deal with a national supplier but make sure everyone in your company purchases from that contract. (See previous post on ‘The Cup vs. The Straw’)

These are just a few of the ones we are aware of and have worked with and there are, no doubt, others. The trick is, pun intended, to see things differently, or as Apple suggests, ‘think different’. Never, ever stop working on increasing revenue but at the same time, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, “$10,000 saved, is $10,000 earned.”

About the Author

Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc., An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

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