For those struggling to attract high-paying clients, pay attention to the fable of how the hungry grasshopper begs the ants for food when winter comes. This situation sums up business lessons about the virtues of frugality in the future.
For the average corporate rank-and-file — Chapter S entrepreneurs, agency owners, consultants, business coaches, small business operators and sole proprietors — every dollar spent has a pedigree that can be traced back to its source . According to Fortune 500 and large agency marketing expert Alf Nucifora, the money you spend must be earned first.
“Remember what you have to sell to spend a dollar,” Nucifora said in a phone interview. “If you’re operating at standard profit margins, think 5 to 10 times more. Then reconsider buying. From that prism, cheapness becomes an honor, not a symbol of ridicule.”
Cheap is such a harsh word; I prefer frugality. As another business mentor told me, when you own a business, you keep every dollar you don’t spend. Like Aesop’s fables of the ant and the grasshopper, you might need the money some winter.
“When the headlines trumpet the wealth going crazy — a tech billionaire with multiple private jets, a lavish seven-figure wedding reception for his beloved daughter, a mega yacht that costs millions of dollars a year to operate — — One has to think of these outliers as animals in a zoo: interesting species with gorgeous behavior, if not in feathers, but all that’s required is a voyeuristic interest,” Nucifora said.
Nucifora is the chairman and founder of LuxeSF, a company in all of the Bay Area including Carmel-Monterey, Silicon Valley and Napa-Sonoma. Currently, he is also the head of a marketing consulting firm. We met before he “retired” in 1990 from the chairman of the southeastern office of a $310 million advertising agency.
“As a small business owner and operator who has been in the business for over 30 years, there are some basic consumer codes of conduct that should be taught from an early age as an antidote to the relentless consumer message that permeates mainstream marketing communications and popular media entertainment,” Nussif La said. “Take it from a still working baby boomer who used to spend money recklessly just because it felt good: I hope a lot of the splurge can now be recovered.”
Here are a few reasons why Nucifora manages frugally:
Perfect information does not exist. “So, stop looking for it or buy it. Be willing to make business decisions based on existing information and your own accumulated wisdom and experience.”
Watch out for the creeping break even. “It’s an old business, Professor warn. This means that you always strive with the best intentions and promise to be profitable, but the temptation to spend always seems to thwart those intentions. “
Appoint a Scrooge. “We own our Scrooge and proudly advertise her brand. She has been miserable and her need to justify spending has driven the sales type crazy. But she has saved us a fortune. Also, she has passed on to people who are afraid of offending It’s impossible to say to provide protection for situations we offend.”
Take care of the pennies and the dollar will take care of itself. “A prominent regional bank CEO checks the lobby counter every day as he leaves to see how many FedEx packages are stacked up for pickup. Inevitably, he finds a lot to mail, saving hundreds a week, Save thousands every year.”
Skillful micromanagement. “Micromanagement has gotten a bad rap lately because tech prodigies preach this big, long view at 30,000 feet. Remember, God is really in the details, especially for small businesses where every customer and transaction matters. “
Do your homework. “Be willing to set prices for stores. That’s the beauty of the internet. There’s always someone with a better deal or a cheaper price.”
To repeat the dollar. “Yes, we need new customers and new capital, but repeats are easier to get and provide more profitability. However, most of the business world, especially the service industry, forgets about the customer relationship once the initial deal is done.”
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Nucifora entered the corporate side of advertising and marketing, working for two Fortune 500 companies, first in Australia and then in the US. He then moved into the advertising business and later into agency management.
Throughout his career, Nucifora has learned that waste is a mindset. “It’s local and ingrained in the DNA of most businesses, like a real estate agent paying hundreds of parking fines a month because he can’t find a vacant parking meter and sees it as Operating expenses.” “Understandable behavior, but hardly worth emulating.”