A fully funded startup seeking to compete with Leading Hotels of the World in the “Hotel Collections” space, Limited Edition Leisure approached me with a series of advisory requests – establish the brand, inject innovation into a mature industry, adjust the existing business model, find new revenues, develop all communications and sales materials, develop programs and services, then help identify brand partners. List of services I provided LEL:

* Identity Consulting

* Business Plan / Model Scrutiny (I fundamentally changed the entire business model)

* Revenue Modeling / Assumptions (I found multiple channels of new, possible revenues)

* Development of Wellness Program, Project Live (TED-like Program), and Limited Edition Cuisine onsite F&B Program

* Developing, writing and delivering: Website, Go To Market Sales Collateral, Press Releases, Client-Targeted PowerPoint Presentations

* Development of Standards and Procedures

* Identified, Approached and Integrated Strategic Business Partners such as Tailored Hospitality and Boutique Hospitality Management

SHIKANY is a nomadic, 5-star culinary series created by Chef Michael Shikany. During this engagement, it was necessary to bring Food Media together to hear a cohesive brand message and for journalists to experience a SHIKANY event in intimate, private environments.

I developed an evening for 30 guests which began as a food/wine pairing at Chef Shikany’s residence so Media could be fully immersed into his personal sense of style at home, then ended on an 88′ Ferretti Yacht for champagne and desserts. Also incorporated were Sponsor introductions, a custom-developed SHIKANY Sounds CD, an electronic media kit and a Gift Box.  The Media Invitation is shown below.

The actual media result was extraordinary:

* The Miami Herald

* AOL / City’s Best

* Urban Daddy

* Miami.com

* Ocean Drive Magazine

* Miami New Times

* Miami Modern Luxury Magazine

* Miami SocialHolic

* The Webster Blog

* Haute Living Miami

* Yelp.com

I’m pleased to announce the launch of two new client projects which I front-to-back advised upon, project managed, and delivered. Visual Engineer develops software for the private jet avionics industry; SHIKANY is a nomadic culinary series which blends lifestyle interests with luxury cuisine. Visit www.visual-engineer.com and www.shikany.com for more details.

What did I do? 

- Branding

- Positioning

- Business Modeling

- Revenue Modeling

- Go To Market Strategy

- Program Development

- Marketing Collateral Development

- Business Development + Partnerships

- Media Outreach + Media Events

- Public Relations / Communications

I help entrepreneurs by literally creating companies out of ideas. Inquire about my Startup Services on the Hire tab.

When boiled down, what I frequently do for a living is communicate; therefore, Communications will now become a larger part of my advisory practice. This will include:

- Brand Representation in South Florida

- Media Strategy and Story Idea Services

- Press Release Drafting & Dissemination

- Media Event Design, Implementation and post event Follow Up

Currently, I am working with a startup firm, SHIKANY, a nomadic culinary and lifestyle series of events. For SHIKANY, I have designed a multi-pronged media event involving writers from Ocean Drive Magazine, The Miami Herald, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Haute Living Magazine, Florida International Magazine, 944 Magazine, Miami Modern Luxury Magazine, CBS4, NBC6, WSVN FOX, Urban Daddy, Thrillist, Miami.com, MiamiSocialHolic.com, The Sunpost, AOL / City’s Best, Miami New Times, FlavorPill, Yelp.com and Blackbook.

Inquire about my Communications / PR Services on my Hire tab.

Regardless of planning, execution, quality, efficiency, infrastracture, management and communications, I’ve seen time and time again the importance of personality attached to brand. Brands are people; people are brands. This is true on both local and national levels, both professionally and personally.

Apple is in big trouble. Not because of revenues or projected revenues. Not because of supply chain issues, employee morale or product quality – all are stellar. Not because income continues to (gulp) soar. Steve Jobs, and Apple’s Board of Directors, have created a monster – Steve Jobs, an individual, being inexorably linked, messiah/guru-like, to the brand to the point they are now inseparable. One and the same. Steve struts on stage twice a year (MacWorld, Analyst Meeting), gaunt, sickly, clearly unwell, lying to the public which owns the company which bears his face; a company who’s stock is soaring towards $400. There’s a danger in this so evident that regardless of Apple’s innovations moving forward, if Jobs dies the company will, too. Slowly. Is it any coincidence that when Jobs returned to Apple, founded Pixar and started hanging out with George Lucas (Star Wars, Industrial Light & Magic), and John Lassiter (writer/director/innovator of Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, The Incredibles), that Apple’s product line got simpler, more childlike, more intuitive and looked like Imperial Stormtroopers? Think about it. Apple’s products aren’t developed through innovation, their futurethought/conceived by Jobs.

Take a local restaurant. The most successful local restaurants are always, ALWAYS, helmed by a face, a person, that special hostess, that hands on owner, the charming Maitre’D, who knows your name, or who you are through millisecond study, and takes you on a journey through their brand. Sirio Maccione of Le Cirque, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, or Steven Perricone of Perricone’s. The list goes on an on. Revenues are impacted through relationships developed, income rises because customer traffic, efficiencies are created because customers need not browse menus and tables are turned faster.

The Face of Business is People. Never forget that. Otherwise, let’s all get into the commodities business, trading grain, coal, iron ore, pork bellies or cutting grass, competitively differentiated by pennies, discarded at whim.

In 2003, I was engaged by the CFO of a NYSE-listed broker dealer to business plan, design, develop, launch and market a B2B / B2C services firm that helped iconic local businesses effectively merchandise their brands. This notion of backbone outsourcing – apparel and product design, warehousing, fullfillment, reporting & customer service – coupled with client-facing sales platforms such as ecommerce, toll free phone and in-store support services, was revolutionary at the time. I dare say, groundbreaking.

The time is now to revitalize that model in a fresh new way. While I won’t regurgitate too many (somewhat outdated) aspects of the old model, client targets, industry verticals and methodologies, I have an aching notion that I need to relaunch something similar yet new, fundamental and elemental yet innovative. I’ll share this with you: the idea involves bundling and leveraging strong services businesses, retailers and resellers and empowering them with turnkey, outsourced, dummyproof Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry partner options. Highly utilize the Internet. Capitalize upon the weak economy and shrinking ad budgets. And identifying, gathering and social networking clientele in a 2.0 environment of transparency and inclusion.

Stay tuned.

We all know that excess capacity relates to a businesses maximum possible output being underutilized. Offices of mismanaged workers who sit idle most of the day (their intellect floating into the ether), a frozen yogurt machine at the local mall barely used because of a poorly chosen / unpopular flavor, a widget factory making half the widgets it possibly could because of poor sales or an efficient supply chain.

[ New Yorkers know a thing or two about maximizing space, don’t they? And capacity maximization. Time management. Dual purposing. Or repurposing based upon the frantic challenges at hand. ]

It’s time for businesses to do the same. The US is in an economic and productivity crisis. Capital markets for startups have contracted. Is there any more appropriate moment for businesses to attempt to leverage their excess capacity to maximize revenues in a fresh, new, unconsidered way? Probably not. The time is now.

I was recently engaged by a domestic apparel manufacturing firm that specializes in custom private labeling. They open at 8am and close at 6pm, M-F. The factory sits idle 14 hours a day, overnight. And for 62 straight hours between 6pm Friday and 8am Monday. Their (paid for) screenprinting and embroidery machinery is in top shape. The company has (some) excess storage capacity, parking capacity, and two spare (small) offices with telephones, high speed internet access and electricity outlets. I’ve convinced them it’s time to get creative, to open the refrigerator and clearly see the milk sitting there. So TODAY, the milk is on the market. There has to be a (more) struggling competitor, or a whiz bang startup kid with a dream but not $200K to open up their own shop.

My client has concerns; what about theft, general liability, IT security? Why would they hand the keys to the castle over to complete strangers? The answers are: security deposit, proof of insurance, and padlocks.

So what’s next? First is general broad market commercial real estate advertising. Second is competitor identification (an updated look), market segmentation by a) realistic distance to factory and b) matching up their screenprinting and embroidery needs, and last of all, the definition of what’s offered, what’s possible, what’s realistic and attaching a price to it.

I’ll keep you apprised of whether this attempt to leverage excess capacity works. What’s important to recognize is that even this is innovation to a small local business. Their minds are now open to the possibilities.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.