Monday, November 08, 2010

Innovations from Small Giants

US Cellular and Cellular South not one of the Top 5 Cellular companies (VZW, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile, MetroPCS), but that doesn't mean that they aren't innovating. According to this article, flat rate plans came from Cellular South first. US Cellular's new CEO "is introducing something called the "Belief Project." This is a reward program similar to the frequent flier programs at the airlines. When you spend money with them you earn points, which you can then cash in for a variety of things like merchandise or perhaps more minutes."

Not that flat rate plans and rewards programs are new - (remember the Select Points program?) - but it is new to cellular. How can you borrow an idea from another industry to add a twist to your marketing?

There are a few books out from the writers at INC magazine including Small Giants.

"Who would believe that the key to entrepreneurial success is not to focus on profits and growth? For this book Bo Burlingham, an editor-at-large for Inc. magazine, shows how fourteen companies have bucked the trends. These companies—including Anchor Brewing, CitiStorage, Clif Bar Inc., Righteous Babe Records, Reel Precision Manufacturing, and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses—concentrated instead on goals like creating top-notch customer service and satisfaction, building community ties, and providing a pleasant and stable work environment." [Harvard]

Here's another innovation: charging more for what others give away for free! Why? Because it isn't about getting tens of thousands of clients - it's about getting about 2000 of the right kind of client!

"At 37signals, we don't want lots of customers. We want lots of the right customers. Our goal is to maximize profits, not market share. We also want to maximize happiness -- for the customers and for ourselves. The more people you have using your products, and the more people you have working at your company, the harder it becomes to keep everyone happy all the time." [Jason in INC]

But to think this way, you have to actually spend time ON your business, not just IN it. You have to have goals and a clear mission (or vision). What are you building and why? It's November. It's about 4 weeks from the time that you will start reviewing 2010 for your Accountant and start planning for 2011. On December 7, 2010 @ Noon Eastern time, Goal Setting and Sales Planning for 2011 webinar. Register here.

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