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February 28, 2007 | General | WineDirect Admin

What to do when you don’t have the resources?

Whether personal or professional, not having the resources to do what you “need” to do is really not much fun. It constrains you, it weakens you, and it frustrates you to no end. Despite all of this, do not let it paralyze you. Get creative, get strategic, and you may find that your plans will change between now and when you have the resources available. I’ve certainly experienced this phenomenon at IBG.

Under our Business Development Programs, we strive to provide our client’s with opportunities to increase online traffic, for greater sales conversion, and most importantly, to access new customers. In order to bring a wide array of opportunities to our clients, I need some things to make these programs more efficient.

I need widgets; I need tools; and I need technology to automate the execution of our business development programs. For months now I have had a laundry list of what I need. What I need is relatively modest; it is justified; it is definitely needed, but it isn’t at the top of the list just yet. Why? Well the truth is… Paul Mabray (my CEO) is mean. Kidding, of course. Really, the truth is that every company prioritizes needs in the context of resources available and you move from there. Enhancing our core platform has taken precedence, naturally.

In light of limited resources in the short term, we decided to go ahead and implement a handful of programs in a manual fashion until we can automate. Despite the labor involved, we actually learned a great deal from our manual “tests” and have learned that our programs and technical needs should change.

Some lessons:

  1. Through one marketing partner, we learned that there is an exponential relationship between the number of states a winery ships to and the success of an email campaign. And now, we know that we need a widget to pre-qualify clients based on states for this particular program.
  2. Through a second program, we learned that discounts on wine are good but free shipping is even better. And now, we know that we need a tool that assesses cost to winery for free shipping offers across all states.
  3. And through yet another program, we learned that wine donations are good, but unless there is a follow up mechanism to contact event attendees, the value of your donation is dramatically reduced. And now, we only orchestrate wine donations if there is marketing access to a list in exchange.

The list goes on and certainly we won’t share all of our secrets, but the bottom line is that a lack of resources forced my team to become creative in their execution. For lack of tools, we were forced to sacrifice efficiency and continued to launch our programs. The irony is that in the end, we unknowingly traded efficiency for effectiveness. I will get my technology, but the technical specs are a bit different now and the existing manual programs will become even more scalable with automation. My advice: remember that all is not lost without the resources you need. If you forge ahead, think creatively, and take notes, you just might find the silver lining.

 


 

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