For those who work hard to attract high paying clients, pay attention to the tale of how a hungry grasshopper begs for food from an ant when winter comes. The situation summarizes business lessons about the benefits of saving for the future.
For the Ordinary Business Rank and Profile – Subchapter Entrepreneurs, Agency Owners, Consultants, Business Coaches, Small Business Operators, and Sole Proprietors – every dollar spent comes in traceable proportions. That dollar spent must first be earned, according to Fortune 500 and big agency marketing expert Alf Nucifora.
“Remember what you have to sell in order to spend a dollar,” Nucifora said in a phone interview. “Think five to ten times more if you operate with standard margins. Then reconsider the purchase. With this perspective, cheapness becomes a badge rather than a badge of sarcasm.”
Cheap is a harsh word. I’m the best frugal. As another business mentor taught me, when a company owns every dollar you don’t spend you have to keep it. Like Aesop’s fable about the ant and the grasshopper, you might need those bucks on a winter’s day.
“While the headlines scream wealth that has gone insane — tech billionaires with multiple private jets, lavish 7-figure weddings for favorite girls, mega yachts that demand millions in annual operating expense — one has to look at these Outliers as similar to zoo animals: “Interesting species, flamboyant in behaviour, if not in plumage, but requiring little more than voyeur attention,” Nucifora said.
Nucifora is the president and founder of LuxeSF which includes all of the Bay Area including Carmel-Monterey, Silicon Valley, and Napa-Sonoma. Currently, he is also a director of a marketing consulting firm. We met before he “retired” from his responsibilities as head of the Southeast Bureau of a $310 million advertising agency in 1990.
“As a practicing small business owner and operator for more than 30 years, there are basic commandments of spending behavior that must be taught at an early age, as an antidote to the relentless consumption messages that permeate mainstream marketing communications and popular media entertainment,” Nocifora said. “Take it from a still-working Boomer who spent the day with giving up because he felt good: I hope that many of those exorbitant dollars are now recovered.”
Here are several reasons from Nucifora for management with economics:
Complete information is not available. So stop trying to find it or buy it. Be prepared to make a business decision based on the available information, your wisdom, and your accumulated experience.”
Beware of the creeping tie. “He is an old commercial professor reproach. This means that you always strive and pledge to reach profitability, with the best of intentions, but the temptations of spending always seem to thwart those intentions.”
Scrooge’s eye. “We have our own miser and are proud to promote her brand. She is in constant pain and her need to justify spending drives sales types crazy. But she provides us with a fortune. And she provides cover for those situations where we would insult by saying no to people who were afraid of offending.”
Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. “The CEO of a prominent regional bank was always checking the lobby desk as he left every day to see how many FedEx packages were stacked up for pickup. He inevitably found that many could be mailed, saving hundreds each week and thousands each year.”
Skillfully accurate management. “Micromanagement has been developing a bad rap lately, tech heralds Wunderkinds at 30,000 feet around the view, big and tall. Remember that God is really in the details, especially for a small business where every customer and transaction has real value.”
Do your homework. “Be prepared to shop the prices. This is the beauty of the Internet. Someone always offers a better offer or a cheaper price.”
Go to repeat the dollar. “Yes, we need new customers and new dollars, but it is easier to gain repeats and make more profitability. However, most of the business world, and service industries in particular, forget about the relationship with customers once the initial transaction is complete.”
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Nucifora has entered the corporate-side advertising and marketing business where she has worked for two Fortune 500 companies, first in Australia and then in the United States. He then moved into advertising and later developed into agency management.
During his career, Nucifora has learned that waste is a state of mind. “It’s endemic and embedded in most of the business’s DNA, like a realtor who pays hundreds of parking fines every month because he can’t find a vacant parking meter and considers it an operating expense,” Nucifora said. Understandable behavior, but not worth emulating.