Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Check Is In The Mail

Was the news that the U.S. Postal Service lost $5.1B last year really surprising to anyone? If you're like me, you're sending less mail and you're doing everything you can to make sure less mail shows up in your mailbox.

Unfortunately, the USPS is still holding on to hope that they can find that magic marketing campaign that gets people and businesses licking stamps again.

That bird has flown.  Just like we don't long for the days of three television channels or rotary telephones, we're not going back to sending more mail.

So when your mission statement becomes irrelevant, what do you do next?
You either throw in the towel, or leverage your remaining strengths to transform your business.

The USPS does have some interesting assets including a footprint that covers almost 100% of the metropolitan areas and a large percentage of the rest of the populated U.S.
What about all those trucks driving thousands of miles everyday?

The USPS should immediately find ways to get advertising revenue from those vehicles in front of millions of eyeballs, and to subcontract services to companies who could benefit from the constant driving.  (Google Maps street view?)

Just like the USPS, your business may be declining due to market conditions or new technology.  You need to take those existing strengths and transform (at least start the planning) into something that is relevant now and tomorrow.

Hoping that the good old days will return is not usually the strategy of an enduring company.

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