Posts Tagged ‘owner operators’

The 126 Million Dollar Mistake

June 4th, 2012 No comments

I was emailed a news story recently that really got my attention. I've done this, and I'll bet you have too, so maybe we can both learn from this other professional's 126 million dollar mistake experience.

To protect the, ah, less than innocent, I'll paraphrase this story as follows.

A company had a mid-level manager that took a phone call. In less than 90 seconds, the mid-level manager said, "Sorry, I'm busy, not interested." it was a sales person that was calling. No big deal to the sales pro, they experience that all the time. But it was a big deal to the company whose manager took – or more to the point – failed to take, the time on that call.

You see, the company that mid-level manager was working for was doing well in some ways, but they faced a problem that was keeping them from growing as fast as they otherwise might have. The problem they faced was worth 126 million dollars to that firm.

They eventually found the answer, but it was some years later. As the story goes, that same person who didn't take that sales person's call years before, was the one who had the light bulb go off over his head, years later. Circumstances lead him to connect the two dots. He was mortified, but wiser, for the experience.

What s your company's 126 million-dollar problem – idea – solution?

Now, I guarantee you that there are some multi-million dollar issues that factory-built housing companies face today. Because HUD Code factories, for example, pay 'label fees' to associations, more sales benefits associations too. The ripple effect of 'not listening' to an idea – even if it comes from 'just a salesman' – can't be understated. Let's look at some examples.

Vacancies in Manufactured Home Land Lease Communities. With an estimated 250,000 +/- vacant home sites across the U.S., this problem is sizable – and costly! – indeed. I've heard time and again that owner/operators are leasing homes, refurbishing homes, selling new homes at cost, doing leased homes at cost, all in an effort to get the rent meter running again on vacancies.

  • Stop and think! One sale a month with a $5000 profit – that otherwise might have been a 'give away sale' at no-profit – would be $60,000 a year. Plus the added site rental fee. We have worked with companies that have learned to do just that, so imagine what 'not listening' to any idea like that might mean to you.
  • Do the math! That's 1.25 Billion with a capital B dollars lost in this one profit area alone. If the average site fee was $300 monthly, that is 900 million dollars in lost site fees nationally!
  • Would it be worth someone's time to learn about a program that could get your company your share of that lost revenue?

Here is another actual factory-built housing example, for manufactured home retailers (and the manufacturers and others who supply them).

  • Tony and First Guarantee will be presenting on a very under-used financing program at the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) annual meeting in August. The financing program is available right now, today, no waiting, no Dodd-Frank related hassles. It has the potential for tripling the total number of sales currently being made by the entire industry.
  • Doing the Math for Factories and Retailers. Imagine, at an average price of $68,000 per HUD Code home, if another 150,000 homes were sold in the next 12 months. That's 10.2 Billion with a capital B dollars currently lost! Can struggling – or even busy! – retailers afford to lose that kind of money? Can struggling – or even busy! – factories afford to pass on those lost sales?

I will guarantee that – whoever you are reading this article – that right now you have a business challenge that you wish were over or solved. Am I right?

It doesn't matter if your firm is offering insurance, financing, homes, sites, supplies, products or services. I guarantee you that you have millions of dollars – perhaps billions – laying on the table. Could you use the bonus check or enhanced profits that might come to you and your firm by tapping a new way to solve a current problem?

I have been selling my entire life; insurance, advertising, machine tools, sales and management training – including some 200 firms in the factory, log and lumber industries – and I have to tell you that I can’t count the number of times I tried to share ideas with prospects that would have made them money or solved a key problem who simply said, "I’m not interested." Pardon me? Not interested in more profits? Not interested in more sales? Can anyone say, “Guilty?”

The story we began this column with had a happy ending, but it took years for that happy ending to occur. The happy ending was after the 126 million dollars lost to that company, before that happy ending took place. What they didn't say in the news story, was what was the compound lost opportunity cost? Meaning, what more could they have earned if they had they claimed that 126 million when the sales person first called that mid-level manager?

Right now – whatever your current challenge – there is a viable solution out there waiting for you to embrace. But first you have to be willing to be open to possible solutions, ideas or creative approaches.

We at ( happen to be in the factory-built housing solution business. Don't take my word for it, look at the testimonials posted here. But let's take this beyond us. Let's take it to a principle that can help you anytime with anyone.

3) This only takes a few minutes to find out. Or it takes a moment to say, "Look, you've caught me at a bad time, but send me an email with your company's services, and I will give it a look or pass it off to the right person."

We happen to serve both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) markets successfully in the factory built housing industry. We have a simple rule. If we can't benefit you, we don't want your money. It has to be a win-win, because win-lose eventually costs everyone in the mix. Not everything turns peaches and cream overnight, but with the right attitudes and efforts, positive changes can and do happen.

Success is always the result of proven processes, properly applied. Success is never a solo thing. It is always, always a case of team work. Every Helen Keller has her Anne Sullivan in the background. Every Warren Buffett or Sam Zell have their key team members too.

Do you think any builder, any community operator, any retailers that are successful are doing it without trusted suppliers, contractors and vendors? Of course not.

A Parachute and the Mind work best when they are open.

Be open minded. Ask questions. Be willing to listen and learn. If the timing is wrong, don't miss the chance, ask for some basic info by email and leave the door open for a possible follow up.

Who knows? The next 126 million dollar solution may be one that could land on your desktop via a phone call or email. ##


Posted for
Tim Connor
Business Development
And the new

Grocery Stores, Shopping Malls and Manufactured Housing

April 27th, 2012 No comments

When you walk into a grocery store, you may see box after box of competing brands of cereals, or different types of sodas on the drink aisle, and different brands of other foods and dry goods too. Let's say, you are looking for cereal. You scan the aisle, and your eye will naturally notice 'advertised brands.' You will also may notice those brands you've tried that you liked, or didn't like.

The fact that all of those brands and kinds of cereal are side by side makes it easier to select and buy the one you want or are interested in trying out. It is much less expensive for those cereal makers to have their products on the shelves of a grocery store, where competitors are side by side, than if they had to create their own stores to sell their own brands of cereal. The point is, that everyone wins by having the 'competition' lined up side by side.

The same principle is true for shopping malls, or auto malls, etc. In Norman, OK – for example – there is 'the magnificent mile of cars.' They have individual ads but also 'magnificent mile' ads too. Everyone benefits by being convenient to shop. In Schaumburg IL or Appleton WI, there are not only great malls in those towns, but all around those malls are other retailers, wholesale clubs, restaurants and shopping centers have sprung up. Who wins? The shopper! The retailer! Those who sell the products and services!

The value of manufactured housing trade shows is – in part – that those who display their products and services have it all under one roof for retailers, community owner/operators, developers and others to see, compare and make good decisions. By the way, we go and display at MH Industry trade shows too. Trade shows are a valuable Industry resource that we need to participate in and promote.

But what do you do before or after a trade show or major industry event to compare products and services? How do the tens of thousands who never make it to an industry event get to compare products or services easily?

The same principle that applies to grocery stores, shopping malls and trade shows can be mimicked to a great extent online. We have started that process here on with the following companies who are in our new 'Marketplace' category under MH Communities.

The day will come when those who want to share their products and services on-line where an estimated 250,000 manufactured home owners, executives, managers and professionals can compare them rapidly will be found side by side, with the similar benefits to a grocery store or shopping mall. It will save money and make money for those who do it. It will save time and thus make more money for those who use it. We already exceed 100,000 visitors (ie: online readers) a month; manufactured home professionals, owners and executives. We continue to grow, with over 700,000 page views and some 2 million 'hits' a month. There is no other business to business (B2B) resource like us. Our advertisers see that and are growing in number too.

Support those advertisers/sponsors who are part of this positive revolution in manufactured home marketing. Come, grow with us! It works with grocery stores and shopping malls. It can work for you here too. Thank you. ##

A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

– Henry Ford.

Post by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

Publisher, MH Marketing and Sales Consulting/Outsourced Industry Services or
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals