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Focus and Growth.
March 2, 2010 – Wall Street Journal
I love reading about folks who do things differently and enjoy great results. Rag and Bone Bindery grew 27% in 2008 when they cut staff, fired their 35 independent sales reps and let their smaller customers fall to the wayside. http://www.ragandbone.com/blog/
How – FOCUS. Doing fewer things better, selling less products and fewer customers deeper. They controlled their relationship with their customers. The promoted their products, probably provided better merchandising and made a better impact at retail.
But what a risk. Can you imagine giving up those shops who order $200/year? Okay, $200 might not seem like much but in the gift business it probably represents 1/3 of your customers. And the whole industry is built on stores and sales agents who won’t commit to your product. That’s what gives the industry such a aura of mystery; We hire these reps - they sell to stores - we get sales - things go great – and then they don’t – any we’re not sure why about that either.
I can think of three other businesses off-hand who grew with focus and by taking control of their destiny. There are likely some others out there – but not enough.
Jeff Sands is a Director with Dorset Partners LLC, a business revitalization firm that helps companies quickly move from red to black. www.DorsetPartners.com