Spectacular Micro Biz Success

October 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

The production floor opened today at 8:00 a.m. Oil flowed like the Exxon Valdez. Quality control feedback was given to the packaging department.  By 10:30 a.m. the enterprise was totally dissolved for the year, their work completed.  In two and a half hours, 6400 presold and prepaid units were assembled, packaged and delivered.  

Welcome to the crazy world of  fundraiser hoagie sandwiches. As you might imagine, this morning’s blitz was merely the tip of the iceberg.  Hundreds of students were marshalled into sales, to support their high school music programs.  Orders were coordinated, supplies purchased, merchants approached for quantity discounts, pre-production preparations made and an army of students and parents marshalled into an assembly line that would make Willie Wonka proud. 

Open the rolls. Oil (three squirts.) Stack: ham, salami, cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce, spices, vinegar.  Count on the marching band drum line and the drum majors to coordinate the shout for additional supplies:  “On three…one…two… three…..SALAMI!!!!”  Primitive, but effective.  Baggie, twist tie (twist the bag, three twists of the twistie.)  Sort into separate orders for pickup.

Their keys to business sucess:

1.   An enthusiastic, inspired and well-connected sales force.

2. An unique product. Available only once a year, lovingly assembled (along with 6399 other units.) High quality, a reputation for excellence.

3. Product differentiation. What the heck is a “hoagie?” Lifelong midwesterners are clueless. Whoever started this tradition must have been from the eastern part of the country. No matter.  The darn things sell.

4. Coordinated leadership. 

5. Committed workforce.

6. Single-minded focus.” Make hoagies. Make a profit!”

7. Continuous process improvement to develop a  system that works like clockwork.

8. Delegation.  Play to the strengths. Booming teenage bass voices in unison are very useful for getting attention. 

9. A strategic plan, a timetable, and the commitment to execute it.

10. Succession planning  – linger at your own risk…even as the floor is being swept up, coordinators are lobbying for their 2011 replacements.

Business today isn’t easy. Most of us can’t count on an army of volunteer labor.  We have to be even more committed to excellence, process and strategy than the hoagie sandwich team. They achieve spectacular success, and this success is within the reach of all.


Entry filed under: Batavia IL, business growth, Business growth: strategies & tools, Business Strategy, business tips, Customer service, Fox Valley business, small business, strategic planning, strategy, Uncategorized.

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