Speedometer90 days ago I purchased a new vehicle. This was the first car I acquired since I transitioned to a virtual business model, which made me wonder how this vehicle’s first few months as a member of my household compared to my last new car purchase, when I still followed the traditional sales model. Lets take a look at the numbers.

In the first 90 days that I owned my last vehicle, the mileage increased from 33 to 12,430. That is 4,100+ miles per month on the road a traveling salesman. My new vehicle has aged from 6 to 1,624 during the first 90 days of ownership. That represents a nearly 90% drop in miles driven per month.

Now let us explore how that translates to fuel costs. The traditional sales miles were covered in an economical sedan which averaged 27 MPG. 12,430 / 27 X $3.50 per gallon = $1,611 in fuel costs. Meanwhile, my virtual miles are driven in an SUV which averages 18 MPG. 1,624 / 18 X $3.50 per gallon = $316. This equates to $1,300 in my pocket, while making no mention of maintenance costs, even while driving a much less efficient vehicle.

This simple example illustrates just one of the many challenges created by a traditional sales model that puts people on the road. By leveraging a virtual model, people have more time to work and their businesses are significantly more profitable.

Originally Posted on October 10, 2011 by John Scranton

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Virtual, Retired or Professional Gambler?

  • Posted on March 3, 2017
  • by John Scranton

There is an older gentleman in my neighborhood who leaves his house at exactly 11am each day during late July and August.  These happen to be the 40 days that Saratoga Race Course is running.  At first I wondered if it was coincidence, but I have seen him at the track every time I have attended.  Always in the same spot, with the same guys and the same beverage.  He must really enjoy that routine.

This prompted a question – is he a horse racing fan who is making the most of his retirement or a professional gambler who is actually leaving for the office each day at 11?  I don’t know the answer and I don’t know him well enough to ask, but I assume the latter since it is more exciting.  Either way he appears to be paying his bills and having a blast – so kudos to him.

Although this thought process prompted an additional question – what do my neighbors think I do?  Some we know personally, but many are only acquaintances.  How many of them realize that I manage sales and marketing for StartUpSelling from my virtual home office?  How many think I am unemployed and playing computer games all day?  How many think I am retired or a professional gambler?  Maybe I should take an informal poll at the next block party.

The results of the poll would be interesting but not relevant.  The point of these observations and questions, as the author Thomas L. Friedman might say, is this: The democratization of technology, information and finance has created the opportunity for many Americans to build a successful career from their virtual offices – including two on my street – whether they choose to work from a spare bedroom, or next to the margarita bar at the track.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on August 31, 2011

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EarthI recently read Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard.  A friend recommended it to me and I found it very interesting.  Chouinard is the founder and owner of the outdoor company Patagonia.  Prior to reading, the only knowledge of Patagonia I had was that they made expensive outdoor equipment that I heard was high quality.  And there is a Patagonia fleece jacket in our coat closet which my wife occasionally wears.

My initial reaction to the book was that I love Patagonia’s business concept.  They aim to produce the highest quality products in their field, designed with unmatched expertise and simple elegance by people who use the products.  Patagonia’s premium products and tremendous customer service allow them to grow continuously, but they choose to manage their growth strategically – aiming to be great rather than huge.  These are the exact goals of my organization – deliver a high quality product, exceptional service, and strive to be great not big.

As I read on, I learned more about Chouinard’s philosophies toward environmental concerns as well.  He has a very pessimistic view of the resource consumption and waste created by the citizens of the world and hopes to be a catalyst for change.  To lead by example, Patagonia donates 1% of their total annual sales to environmental causes.  I found this to be very impressive, but it also led me to be reflective.  I have never put much consideration into my environmental impact.  I recycle – but is that enough?

I then realized that I made a career change that had an unplanned yet significant environmental impact.  As a traveling salesperson, I was driving 30,000 or more miles per year.  Wearing out suits, cars and diners while consuming vast resources.  Now that I have transitioned to a virtual organization, this consumption and pollution had dropped by approximately 80%.  Maybe more.  This virtual opportunity was great for me personally, and in a very small way is helping save the planet.

Virtual Business Isn’t Just Great for Me, It’s Saving the Planet was Originally Posted on October 22nd, 2010 by John Scranton

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Speedometer90 days ago I purchased a new vehicle. This was the first car I acquired since I transitioned to a virtual business model, which made me wonder how this vehicle’s first few months as a member of my household compared to my last new car purchase, when I still followed the traditional sales model. Lets take a look at the numbers.

In the first 90 days that I owned my last vehicle, the mileage increased from 33 to 12,430. That is 4,100+ miles per month on the road a traveling salesman. My new vehicle has aged from 6 to 1,624 during the first 90 days of ownership. That represents a nearly 90% drop in miles driven per month.

Now let us explore how that translates to fuel costs. The traditional sales miles were covered in an economical sedan which averaged 27 MPG. 12,430 / 27 X $3.50 per gallon = $1,611 in fuel costs. Meanwhile, my virtual miles are driven in an SUV which averages 18 MPG. 1,624 / 18 X $3.50 per gallon = $316. This equates to $1,300 in my pocket, while making no mention of maintenance costs, even while driving a much less efficient vehicle.

This simple example illustrates just one of the many challenges created by a traditional sales model that puts people on the road. By leveraging a virtual model, people have more time to work and their businesses are significantly more profitable.

Originally Posted on October 10, 2011 by John Scranton

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Virtual, Retired or Professional Gambler? [From the Archives]

  • Posted on February 19, 2016
  • by John Scranton

There is an older gentleman in my neighborhood who leaves his house at exactly 11am each day during late July and August.  These happen to be the 40 days that Saratoga Race Course is running.  At first I wondered if it was coincidence, but I have seen him at the track every time I have attended.  Always in the same spot, with the same guys and the same beverage.  He must really enjoy that routine.

This prompted a question – is he a horse racing fan who is making the most of his retirement or a professional gambler who is actually leaving for the office each day at 11?  I don’t know the answer and I don’t know him well enough to ask, but I assume the latter since it is more exciting.  Either way he appears to be paying his bills and having a blast – so kudos to him.

Although this thought process prompted an additional question – what do my neighbors think I do?  Some we know personally, but many are only acquaintances.  How many of them realize that I manage sales and marketing for StartUpSelling from my virtual home office?  How many think I am unemployed and playing computer games all day?  How many think I am retired or a professional gambler?  Maybe I should take an informal poll at the next block party.

The results of the poll would be interesting but not relevant.  The point of these observations and questions, as the author Thomas L. Friedman might say, is this: The democratization of technology, information and finance has created the opportunity for many Americans to build a successful career from their virtual offices – including two on my street – whether they choose to work from a spare bedroom, or next to the margarita bar at the track.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on August 31, 2011

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EarthI recently read Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard.  A friend recommended it to me and I found it very interesting.  Chouinard is the founder and owner of the outdoor company Patagonia.  Prior to reading, the only knowledge of Patagonia I had was that they made expensive outdoor equipment that I heard was high quality.  And there is a Patagonia fleece jacket in our coat closet which my wife occasionally wears.

My initial reaction to the book was that I love Patagonia’s business concept.  They aim to produce the highest quality products in their field, designed with unmatched expertise and simple elegance by people who use the products.  Patagonia’s premium products and tremendous customer service allow them to grow continuously, but they choose to manage their growth strategically – aiming to be great rather than huge.  These are the exact goals of my organization – deliver a high quality product, exceptional service, and strive to be great not big.

As I read on, I learned more about Chouinard’s philosophies toward environmental concerns as well.  He has a very pessimistic view of the resource consumption and waste created by the citizens of the world and hopes to be a catalyst for change.  To lead by example, Patagonia donates 1% of their total annual sales to environmental causes.  I found this to be very impressive, but it also led me to be reflective.  I have never put much consideration into my environmental impact.  I recycle – but is that enough?

I then realized that I made a career change that had an unplanned yet significant environmental impact.  As a traveling salesperson, I was driving 30,000 or more miles per year.  Wearing out suits, cars and diners while consuming vast resources.  Now that I have transitioned to a virtual organization, this consumption and pollution had dropped by approximately 80%.  Maybe more.  This virtual opportunity was great for me personally, and in a very small way is helping save the planet.

Virtual Business Isn’t Just Great for Me, It’s Saving the Planet was Originally Posted on October 22nd, 2010 by John Scranton

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Virtual Business > Traditional Business

Last night I noticed this Inc. Magazine article that discusses the power of a remote workforce.  It caught my eye because the author discusses the increased level of commitment shown by virtual employees.  I certainly find this to be true in my life.  It is 6:38am right now, and I am writing this blog while having coffee and sitting next to my newborn daughter.  By 8:00am I will be well prepared for the day and ready to focus on my work with a clear mind.  I feel a deep level of commitment to the organization, likely more than those frantically tying their tie, scarfing down oatmeal and checking their BlackBerry while preparing to shuffle along in rush hour traffic.  Once again: Virtual Business > Traditional Business.

Originally Posted on August 28, 2012 by John Scranton

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Reblog: Postal Service To Cut Saturday Mail (via @alanblume)

  • Posted on February 14, 2013
  • by John Scranton

Postal Service To Cut Saturday Mail

Posted on February 6th, 2013 by Alan Blume

On September 14, 2009, I wrote a blog entitled Going Postal. The first two sentences seemed an obvious observation at the time, “It seems pretty strange that the U.S. government still delivers mail six days a week. After all, the postal service has been running at a deficit for years, in some cases, multibillion dollar deficits.” Over three years later, I was happy to read the following headline on AP, “Postal Service To Cut Saturday Mail”. We have to start somewhere, and cutting back to 5 day delivery is a good beginning. The wheels of change turn slowly, but at least they are turning. In an age of instant electronic communication, pervasive social media, free international VOIP Skype calls, instant messaging, on demand web meetings and texting, watching a mail truck stop at nearly every house in America six times a week seems rather absurd. So the next question is, how long will it take to cut at least one more day off the USPS house to house mail delivery, and how many billions in losses, and how much wasted fuel will be racked up until that time?

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Wedding Plans & Marketing Plans

  • Posted on July 6, 2012
  • by John Scranton

My wife and I attended weddings each of the last three weekends.  While we enjoyed the celebrations, I took note of the planning and coordination which allowed each event to proceed successfully, providing an enjoyable experience for the guests.  Many different skill sets are required to put a wedding together – here are just a few:

  • Caterer
  • Florist
  • Band/DJ
  • Limo Service
  • Printer

A wedding planner or a highly involved bride & groom must bring all of these vendors and typically many more together seamlessly to deliver effectively.  This is a massive undertaking – even for a one day event!

Many businesses attempt to internalize their marketing needs, assuming it will be like planning their own wedding.  They assign a marketing director the tasks of website management, email marketing, social media marketing and more.  If the marketing director has access to a highly skilled marketing team, or if the campaign were to only last one day, this might be a reasonable task.  But marketing is a process that takes time, constant nurturing and many different skill sets.  Marketing is more akin to hosting a wedding 7 days a week.

The most effective solution for many organizations is to outsource their marketing needs to a savvy agency that is well versed in managing the talent needed to consistently deliver results in the various marketing campaigns required for sustained growth.  This requires access to an arsenal of expert web developers, email marketers, social media marketers, graphic designers, callers, SEO specialists and coordination of their activities by a senior marketing expert with extensive business experience.

Before you assign a member of your team the designation of marketing director – or permanent wedding planner – make certain they have access to the resources required to succeed.

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Posted in: B2B Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Virtual Business
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