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Business Pitch

Page history last edited by Michael J 13 years, 10 months ago

Following is the text of an article published by Perfect Image in their Spotlight Newsletter Issue #6 April 16, 2007 About Perfect Image


Business Based Publishing Centers: Grow your business by being social

The specific goals of a Pub Center depend on the community it is in. But the mission is always the same - to help a community define its own problems and encourage the growth of innovative sustainable solutions to those problems.


In a fast changing world of new technology and global challenges and opportunites, the best strategy for smart growth is to create local economic vibrant communities, that can respond quickly to whatever is going to happen in the outside world. It's just a new version of the old Boy Scout slogan - "Be prepared".


The most innovative solutions often come from the activities of non profit organizations. Because they are not trapped by having to make money and they have limited resources, non profits have to experiment to find new practical solutions to practical problems.


The most recent example of that innovation is a model for non profits that is emerging all over the world - The Social Enterprise. The Social Enterprise Alliance says that a Social Enterprise is an organization or venture that advances its social mission through entrepreneurial, earned income strategies. "What we are about is the business of changing the entire paradigm by which not-for-profits operate and generate the capital they need to carry out their mission -- a new paradigm based on sustainability and social entrepreneurship." — Charles King, Social Enterprise Alliance founding Chairman


What problems can a Pub Center solve?

In a High School, a Pub Center might focus on increasing attendance and graduation rates. Or it might focus on increasing the scores on standardized high stakes tests. Or it might focus on getting better teaching material into the hands of the teachers. Or customized books in the hands of the students.


In a Church, a Pub Center might focus on getting more participation from the members, or get more helpful information to the members to help them solve their problems.


But wherever it is, a Pub Center achieves its purpose by gathering lots of information, transforming it into useful information for the community and then publishing - making that information public.


Sometimes the best way to publish is with a website and email. But in the real world of communities, any communication process that does not include print is not going to work. The good news is that when you add together books, brochures, posters, websites and whatever else can work, it's amazing how communication can become faster, better and cheaper - and get results!


Businesses have the same problem. Their "community" is their customers. The safest way to become a successful business is to give your customers an easy and pleasant way to do what the customer wants to do. It's a little harder for business, because they cannot call on volunteers to help. But sometimes a business can be a very successful social enterprise.


The goal of a Pub Center is set by the community in which it lives.

The approach is to define inputs, outputs, and the transformation processes that get from input to output. Then focusing on how to make the transformative process better, faster and cheaper. The method is collecting and making public useful information, in the form of stories and forms that can communicate. The value added is the professional practice of Communication Process Management.


The more things change the more they stay the same.

The secret of a successful business has always been "word of mouth" and "referrals". As anyone who runs a successful business can tell you, the only way to start good "word of mouth" is by delivering a good product, with great service at a good price and have customers who trust you to do the same thing tomorrow.


The big businesses are just discovering what small business has always known. They often have a hard time doing it. And they have special words for describing it. They call it "building the brand" or "focusing" on the customer experience" or "building brand loyalty".


The other thing that some smart big businesses are learning is that to succeed they need a strong company culture in which everyone shares the vision of "customer first". What they are trying to figure out how to do is what comes naturally to every successful small business - create a community of loyal employees to serve a community of loyal customers. That's the real secret of Starbucks, Costco and Apple computer.


A Business Based Publishing Center can help you level the playing field. The exact details will be different for every business and their unique situations, but the general approach is the same. It doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive. Find information, figure out which information is enjoyable for your customers, and publish it for them. We've seen businesses try to do this for years with newspaper advertising, brochures, postcards and now with websites. And lately they are trying to create communities of customers with loyalty programs, frequent flyer cards, and all kinds of print based programs. But, like everything else, the rules are quickly changing. Customers and employees have been bombarded with noise, masquerading as useful information. They know the difference.


Contrary to popular belief, people don't hate advertising. But... they do hate noise - whether on TV, radio, or direct mail - that wastes their time. The good news is most people love useful information, delivered in a form that is delightful and easy to understand. The hard part is figuring out what is useful and what is noise.


That's where a Business Based Publishing Center comes in. Printing professionally designed pieces is finally affordable for very small quantities. Finding, transforming and moving information is easy, if you have the right attitude and the right team.


For the first time, you can build on the personal relationships you have with your customers using print and web. Appropriate print and web drive word of mouth without taking your time. That will give you the time for your most important job - managing your business and taking care of your customers.


When you add together print, posters, websites and whatever else works best for your customers, it's amazing how much faster, better and cheaper it is to talk to them and let them talk to you. Honest communication and great service is the best way to grow your business and your community of customers!


If this sounds interesting, click here to read more.

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