While most acquisitions are usually self-defeating in the long run, the low-cost-high-return character of leveraging off others to expand market share makes Leveraging People Power a common strategy among excellent companies. Don’t confuse the notion of leveraging off others with dealers or franchises. The dealer and franchise business models are organizational tools related to brick-and-mortar business operations. When business growth requires physical outlets or boots on the ground near the customer, the dealer and franchise models are often sound strategies as alternatives to the capital-intensive alternative of company-owned outlets or remote staffing. But they come with a price. Laws protecting franchisees limit the flexibility of the franchiser. Dealer agreements similarly complicate life for the mother company.
Technology has eliminated the need for nearby physical presence in many cases and created new opportunities for leveraging off others. For example, software companies certify independent trainers. Those trainers become promoters of the software.Social media has facilitated the creation of communities of users of a product or service. A classic example of the community approach to leverage off others is Harley Davidson. Today you can join an array of Harley groups—Military and Veterans, Women Riders, African American Riders, or the generic Harley Owners Group called the HOGs. User groups, social media groups, turn your clients and customers into spokes persons for your product or service. DIRECTV offers customers cash rewards for each new DIRECTV customer they bring on board. The reward goes to both the referring customer and the new customer. DIRECTV customers moving to a new home are taught to take their equipment with them but to leave the dish behind. The tactic assures client retention and makes installation easier at both locations. Excellent companies look for ways to leverage the power of others. It is the power of helping hands.
Mysteries by Tom Collins include Mark Rollins’ New Career, Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker, Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer and the newest, The Claret Murders. For signed copies go to http://store.markrollinsadventures.com. Print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores. The ebook edition for the iPad is available through Apple iTunes' iBookstore.