Does Your Company Have Legs?

Scott Deming

Does Your Company Have Legs?

~~In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, writer Ben Fritz talks about Disney’s ability to turn movie hits into “Profits Ever After.” Each movie mega hit becomes its’ own franchise, with a dedicated team focused on turning that movie hit into successful and profitable rides, toys, clothes, video games and more. In the advertising business, we would call this “having legs.”

Think about your current business model. Do you have the ability to turn your knowledge and your skill sets into additional revenue streams? Does your current business model have legs? Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. I am a corporate speaker. That’s my main area of business revenue. To put it simply, I am hired by corporations to fly to their conferences or conventions and be their opening or closing keynote speaker. Many times, a company will also hire me to do a breakout session or a seminar while I’m there. Now, let me show you how I turned that into “legs.”

From my experience in business ownership, advertising and board positions I have created a knowledge base of several different topics, ranging from leadership to brand building. Now, I could easily just go out and do my keynote presentations, but there are many other opportunities I create with this information. Opportunities that turn into additional revenue streams or “legs.” I’ve written books, and from the books I’ve created presentations and training programs. I’ve turned the training programs into consulting contracts. The consulting contracts have led to additional marketing and advertising projects. I’ve turned my presentations and knowledge base into instructional DVDs and CDs. I’ve turned my books into audio books. In fact, I’ve turned my knowledge and skills into not only additional income, but passive income. I’ve put my knowledge into something people can actually see and touch.

Obviously, I cannot compare myself to Disney. My revenue stream is certainly not in the same stratosphere as theirs, but the concept is the same. I have franchised myself. I have turned my name and knowledge into a brand and into brand products and services. Now, let’s look at your business. Whether you’re in the financial sector, manufacturing, marketing, health care, or any other business, what other opportunities are you leaving on the table? Can you turn your knowledge and your skills into additional revenue streams? Do you have current products that have additional products in them, but you just haven’t seen it? Can you turn a product that really can’t be seen or touched into something that can? In other words, if you’re selling insurance, banking or intellectual property, what can you do to create a software program, game, or any tangible product that not only creates additional revenue, but also puts your brand on something your customers can touch? Is the customer experience great enough that your customers will want to experience you more, or in other ways? At Disney, that’s exactly what’s happening. “When people love a Disney product this much, they expect to be able to somehow experience it,” said Kathy Mangum, a senior creative executive in the Imagineering theme-park design group.

What can you do to create additional experiences for your customers that will ultimately turn into additional revenues for your company? Think of your company as a bicycle wheel. Your main product or service is the hub. Anything additional you can create becomes a spoke. The outside, or the wheel itself becomes your customer base and revenue stream. How large is that wheel? How many spokes do you have?

Be a company with legs and you’ll soon be running effortlessly to the payoff!