Beyond the Horizon

JUNE Newsletter

Howdy from the Mitten:

I was recently visiting with someone I think is one of the best thinkers in local media and shared a metric I have long thought EVERYONE should be tracking…

Business Penetration!

Here’s “why”!

Every local business any media organization serves (and I mean EVERY) wants to do two things – – keep the customers they have and add to that base.  Newly opened businesses are primarily focused on growth, so that’s probably the only exception!

It’s really that simple.  It doesn’t matter whether you are selling products or services or redemption.  Keep what you gots (retention) and add to that over time (acquisition).

The TV station, radio group, newspaper or sky-writing service that helps local businesses do this will prosper.  Period.

Tracking business penetration is especially timely now that digital solutions are a part of virtually every local media offering.

The bad news in newspaperland goes like this – the greatest penetration I’ve heard of or seen is in the 4 – 5% range for a small market.  For example, if a market has 3,000 businesses the “paper” might have a business relationship with 150 customers.  That’s 5% and would be terrific!

The good news?  There are 2,850 prospects who could use help!  LOTS of UPSIDE.  What are you waiting for?  Good luck!

Track that.  Increase your 150-customer base to 200 and you’ve increased business penetration to 6.6% - what’s that, 24% growth!?  Killer!

There’s the challenge of quantifying the exact number of businesses in a community, but that’s much easier nowadays thanks to sites like www.census.gov and www.city-data.com

If you cannot find that number, consider the “penetration” of all the businesses that are local Chamber of Commerce members.  (You are members of the Chamber, right?)  That workaround might help.  It would be a much higher penetration figure, but it’s the TREND that’s important and you should be tracking.  Grow this number steadily and I can promise, good things will happen.

Simpler? – Track your Customer Count.  If that number steadily grows (and turnover is negligible) you should also be on solid financial footing.

Those are my June “shorts”.  May you stay cool and successful in a HOT summertime!

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