First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope everyone had a safe and fun time. The Lucas family had a very safe New Years, and we all made it until midnight, mainly because we had a hard time getting our 3 month-old son to sleep. As usual, our oldest 3 boys had no problem staying up well past midnight. Such is the life of the parent, but we love it.
As we begin 2014, I have new goals for both myself and Credo. I hope you are also setting some goals and looking to improve yourself. I want to make 2014 better than 2013. I want to be more organized, more process-oriented, and I want to manage my time better. I want to spend more quality time with my staff and with my clients. I want to spend more time doing what I enjoy and what I am good at.
For those that know me well, you know I love to read business books. I love to gather wisdom and perspective from people with different experiences and learn both from their experiences and their mistakes. I have never been the type that needs to make his own mistakes (though of course I do); I’d rather take notes from others that have made mistakes and “borrow” that wisdom for my own purposes. I would strongly advise anyone else to do the same.
During 2013, for some reason, there was a recurring theme that kept nagging at me. This theme revolved around marketing. As I thought about how to grow Credo, I knew that hiring great people and installing great processes would lead to happy clients that would lead to referrals. But, there has to be more to it. I mean, why do other companies grow so quickly and others just sort of limp along? Well, I’m going to try something, and a family vacation I recently took sealed the deal for me on making this decision.
About 3 weeks ago, I took my 7 and 9 year-old sons on a journey. We drove all the way to Northern Vermont to get in the below zero temperatures as well as to give them the experience of skiing. The idea being, we could spend some time together and go on this journey together. Just the 3 of us. We could talk about….whatever. Being from Chicago, I understand the cold. They do not. I gave them that experience in a big way. And, they did a great job learning to ski. On the way back, we would stop for a couple days in Washington, D.C. for a history lesson.
While in Vermont, we went to the Ben & Jerry’s factory. And, of course, there was a book there that was calling my name. It was a book about their story and how they grew a little company into the giant it is today. Now, here is where it really hit home with me and pushed me over the edge.
Ben & Jerry did a national tour when they had no money, little funding, and it was “sell ice cream or bust”. They traveled around the country and gave away ice cream. They didn’t charge for it, they gave it away. And guess what? People loved it. And they bought more, and then they started showing rising sales, and then they got investment capital, and then they developed a distribution network, etc. The rest is history.
Point being, this is not the first time I had read about or talked to someone about this strategy. It’s a simple strategy, and it is very logical. It is: If you have a great product, then give it away and let people try it. If it is as good as you believe it to be, then they will buy it. And, if you are not confident enough to do that, and to take that risk, then you need to go back and look at your product.
Now, I am obviously not in the ice cream business. But, I have found that once we get someone on board with Credo, they start to learn why we provide so much value to them. And, they stay. They see that they are paying only a fraction of the value we are providing to them. Ben & Jerry’s did the same. The product is different, but the concept is both simple and logical.
So, for the month of January, Credo’s Accounting & Business Services division is giving away services for free. Come try us, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s a win for you.
Oh, and of course, please read the flyer for details.[scbutton link=”https://www.dropbox.com/s/f497vrgrqllxizy/New%20Years%20Flyer.pdf” target=”blank” variation=”light_green” size=”small” align=”none”]View/Download a .pdf of the Flyer[/scbutton]
Happy New Year!
Dan Lucas, CPA, ABV, CFF
Credo Financial Services, LLC