December 28, 2010

One One One One

By Paul Bieber

No, the repeat key did not get stuck on my computer. This blog is about the number one. This Saturday is 1/1/11, or one one one one. This has made me think about a few one things, some are good, some are bad.

Being number one on the FBI most wanted list is bad.

Number one in home runs in 2011 would be good.

First person on the moon was great.

The first person to step in the quicksand is in deep trouble.

Now, let’s try this for the glass industry.

If your company is the first name on the speed dial list of the biggest contractor in town, this is good. OK, you get the idea.

You should try to be the best in one or two of the product categories that you sell in. You can’t be first in everything. There is just not enough time to learn and implement all there is in our industry.When Oldcastle Glass bought Floral Glass they wanted to be the first in fabrication and phased out our distribution business. They knew you can’t serve too many masters.

In your glass business decide what you want to be first in. These one or two product areas should be ones you enjoy; ones that are above average in their profitability for your company, and ones that are in demand in your market area.

In your relationships with vendors, pick the ones that are the tops in these two fields. In your advertising, focus on these areas, while still saying that you are a full-service business. Train your employees to be their best in these areas. Be know as the company that can do anything in these two product lines and that your company will tackle the hardest and strangest jobs in your number one product. When you do get one that strains you to the fullest, call your local paper’s business editor and explain what was so special about this job and send in a picture. It is amazing how easy it is to get good, free PR when you have done something unique!

Put your number one product on the sides of your trucks and on your uniform shirts. Place it prominently on your business card. The displays in your showroom/waiting area should feature this aspect of your business!

Being number one in a product category is a sure route to business success in your market area. So, on one one one one decide which one will be your one. If you understood this last sentence, you won!