Issue #21 Huge, gut-busting, and your signature program

The general store in Sierra City is a destination for weary hikers who stumble the mile and a half down Highway 49 from the Pacific Crest Trail.

They arrive tired, dusty, and ready for food, any food that doesn’t come in a pouch with rehydration instructions.

And then they meet Larry.

Larry runs the General store and “cafe” that offers burgers in two sizes, huge and gut-busting (literally, that is what is on the menu).

But Larry does NOT know how to run a kitchen.

The line of tired and hungry hikers snakes through the store and out the back as Larry collects their orders and money. Every once in a while, he takes the orders back to the kitchen. Maybe he drops one along the way; who knows?

The sequence in which you placed your order is in no way related to when you get your food.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if the kitchen were fast.

But it isn’t.

They make each order before making the next. So there may be 10 burger tickets hanging on their ticket hanger. Instead of throwing ten patties on the grill, they completely cook the first one before starting the second one.

This made for painfully slow delivery of mouth-watering sustenance.

Fortunately for Larry, his customers were exhausted, very hungry, and the only food within 30 miles. So everybody waited, long-faced and with the patience of people who had already walked days to get here.

What is another afternoon for a burger?

Larry is lucky. He has a true, insurmountable physical mote protecting his business. You probably do not.

(Larry does also live in a city with a population of 129, so there are trade-offs).

You have to create a mote. Your business should solve a problem that your customers want to be solved in a way that is easy for them to use, your signature program. Larry provides hamburgers to hungry hikers who have no alternative: what do you do?

Then the only way you can make more profit over time is to create repeatable processes that work efficiently. This means creating, following, and improving SOPs that make up your business machine.

Without the effort to create the business machine, you just end up doing work, cooking one burger after the other, never getting ahead, and always under the gaze of slightly annoyed customers.

Alternatively, if you would rather make slow burgers, the general store in Sierra City is for sale. You could always go for the “no alternative” mote…


Your signature program is key to making a profit and decoupling time and money

Once you have your signature program defined, you can continuously improve the delivery of your signature program. This means you will get more efficient, reduce your costs and enhance your profitability.

This is a concept from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and they have always been big proponents of market share and doing everything they can to protect and grow market share. You sell at the lowest price possible, grow your market share, gain more experience through volume, drive down your cost and reduce your price.

That is pretty stupid.

A better idea is to keep your price consistent and base it on the value of what you deliver rather than the cost of delivery. With the right effort focused on defining and improving processes, you get the cost-benefit without ever reducing your price.

Remember, price is based on the value in the market and is always set by supply and demand; cost is based on experience.

Read more about setting your price.

Getting better at delivering your signature program is a group effort.

Improvement does not happen by accident. It requires concerted effort and collaboration. This is why we meet in companies.

As maligned as the meeting has become, it is essential to working together, sharing ideas, and improving the business. Meetings matter.

That’s why we developed our Irresistible Sales and Marketing Masterclass, so you don’t have to do it alone. Learn more about this 6-week program and see if it’s the right fit for you.

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