Tagged: business development career

A recent article in U.S. News & World Report disclosed that in 2010, airlines have generated $2.1B in additional passenger revenues through clever, and often egregious pricing strategies. If they had asked their customers for ways to make travel memorable again, would they have selected this strategy to grow revenues?

The "pay to breathe, walk or eat" pricing approach is rapidly eclipsing customer service in the airline industry, and customers like me are furious. Their nickel and dime strategy are earning them billions: Extra baggage fees comprised $600M in additional revenues and flight changes comprised another $900M.

StarCite_R-highres StarCite, a B2B technology company serving the travel industry, has charted a different course to fuel growth. I recently met with Greg Dukat, their CEO. He outlined a customer-centric growth strategy that challenges the airlines' approach, and will surely outlive it.

Ten Rules for Modern Mastermind Groups

What is a mastermind group, and why should you care? They may just be the secret weapon to help you outpace your competitors and weather these stormy economic seas.

In the 1930’s, wealth expert and author Napoleon Hill defined a mastermind group as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” Well before he authored Think and Grow Rich, Ben Franklin introduced a similar model.

In 1728, at the ripe young age of 21, Franklin created a club of mutual improvement called a junto (pronounced “hoon-toe”). Franklin was struggling to grow his printing business, and knew he could not do it alone. The junto, which comprised seasoned tradesmen, a bartender, and an astrologer, gave him the boost he needed to thrive. As a side benefit, this group surreptitiously shaped public opinion.

Benjamin Franklin Junto 

Whatever you prefer to call these special societies, you will notice they have withstood the test of time, and have created fortunes for thousands, if not millions. Today, you can find juntos in Paris, London, New York, and parts between.

Chip Conley and his investors were forced to make some tough decisions.

Several months ago, Conley, the CEO of Joie de Vivre Hotels in San Francisco, California, witnessed competing hotels facing potential foreclosure. According to the Wall Street Journal, “there is about $5.6 billion in securitized mortgages tied to hotels coming due this year and next…27.8% cover properties now estimated to be worth less than their mortgage balances.” (source: Trepp LLC’s Foresight Analytics). Billions of dollars of mortgages are coming due in the coming years. Analysts are forecasting that the hotel industry will not regain its full strength until 2013.

Chip_Conley_Joie_de_vivre

Joie_de_vivre

Photo courtesy of Chip Conley 

Last September, BendBroadband CEO Amy Tykeson and her team made a bold move. In the midst of servicing one of the most economically challenged markets in the United States — Central Oregon — Tykeson and her team "em-barked" on a re-branding strategy.

Nearly a year has passed. Today, they boast the premier local IT service provider spot, and have preserved their profits in a price-conscious, pit bull industry.

BendBroadBand_logo 

I barely survived three “mergers” in my 27-year career. Most proved to be greedy land grabs motivated by impatient investors, stagnation or bored founders.
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Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s new book, “Delivering Happiness,” and his stock sale to Amazon prove to me that some mergers may just be made in heaven….

Anim_walking_dragon 

(photo courtesy of http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/dragons3.shtml)

Let’s be honest. In today’s volatile economy, strategic growth planning and marketing innovations are easily pushed aside in favor of reactively averting poisonous arrows and perilous moats. 

Those hazards continuously threaten us—and often appear from a surprise enemy. How many of us keep putting our foot on the gas and have not slowed down to finesse these dangerous conditions?

We may not be able to control unforeseen events and demanding clients. What we can control is how we respond. It starts with arming ourselves with knowledge and confidence.

Knowledge begins by understanding the most common pressures our clients are facing:


I was just interviewed by RainToday’s Editor, Michelle Davidson. We discussed what every firm must do now to re-ignite business growth this year. In this 20 minute conversation, you will hear:

The two biggest reasons that B2B business owners lose their passion to grow
How to re-ignite growth in a difficult economy
Low-cost ways every B2B company can implement to expand client impact and revenues

P.S. Be sure to share your comments here….