Friday, December 11, 2009

The hardest part of running a company is dealing with time. Time pressures can take on any number of forms.

1) Not enough time. Every minute is important and we do not want to miss any opportunity. This is why I fly to HK for 3 days, fly home and drive 6 hours round trip the next day for a sale meeting, then fly to Canada for 2 days the next day. Yes, its exhausting, but it also allows me to understand the goals of our customers. I learn about what makes their customers unique. And then we can make product that will maximize the retailers goals for its consusmers.

2) Focusing on different time horizons. This last week, I made decisions within each of these time horizons.

  • Immediate: Daily or weekely - watching and analyzing our daily and weekly POS data from products selling at stores right now. Shipping products daily.

  • Intermediate: This week thru the next few months - taking and producing orders that ship from now into the next 6 monhts.

  • 2 to 6 months from now - introducing, selling and quoting our new lines that would start appearing in stores next Summer and Fall,

  • Future - looking at new licenses and artists that we would develop into new puzzle and other toy lines. These issues will not start appearing in stores until 2011
3) World time zones - We sell our puzzles all around the world. Like the old British Empire, it seems that the sun never sets on an LPF puzzle. But it also means that I have distributors and partners who are awake when I am suppose to be asleep. So I find myself doing a lot of meetings from the phone in the kitchen at night. Some times this works to my advantage. I can ask someone to complete a task at 5:00pm my time in Lafayette. When I get up in the morning, the task is complete. The person who did it was not up all night. The work was part of their normal day. Anyone doing business internationally knows what I am talking about.

In thinking about this post, I thought of this song from a long time ago.

Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future. - Steve Miller Band


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