Know Your Business – Manager Tools

This is an extract from Manager Tools and their May 2010 Newsletter. Manager Tools is a collection of podcasts and a forum dedicated to improving how you manage your team and employees.

Its excellent.

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I was was reminded – again – how important it is to understand how the business you’re in works.

The first reminder came when I learned that UPS trucks don’t make left turns. Think about that for a second. UPS has determined that left turns are EXPENSIVE. There’s more idling time, which is expensive. And there’s more accidents, which are VERY expensive. UPS manages its business carefully, and it know these things, so it had its routing software set up to eliminate left turns. You might think that’s a nice thing…but UPS thinks it’s good business. How good? UPS has about 90,000 trucks…and this change alone saves them ELEVEN THOUSAND TRUCKS.

That is not just nice..that is SMART.

And for me, that’s not just smart… that is soooooooo COOL!!

Need more? American Airlines prints marketing messages on the napkins that it gives out to go under every drink it provides. [The latest: “Turn flights and everyday purchases into lifetime memories.”]. That costs money, right? Sure it does: plain napkins are cheaper than napkins that are printed upon. Soooooooo, if you’re a flight attendant, you’re told that you’re supposed to place the napkin on the tray SO THE MARKETING MESSAGE IS READABLE BY THE PASSENGER

Napkin with clever marketing use

A very loose tie-in with the napkins in the newsletter however very cool. From a marketing perspective they would make a great word of mouth talking point


This isn’t micro-managing…this is managing your business, because you know your business.

Do you know your business? Do you know what drives revenue? What are the biggest costs? What are the controllable costs? How can you contribute?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions you should. Management doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in the context of a business.

A business you oughta know.

What small marketing processes do you have setup in your business that are particular to your company or industry? Is it something that is recorded and written down or just passed on from one person to the next? Do you have a standard way that the phone is answered or does everyone do it differently?