Monthly Archives: November 2010

Stratification #1 – “simple is never simple”

In the start-up environment simple is never simple. You have less resources to accomplish the same ideas, projects, and tasks then bigger organizations and your competition. Not only do you have less resources people wise, but you have to do the same things efficiently for less money.

As a start-up you have to realize that even the simplest ideas are usually more complicated and require time to finish. You must prioritize your endless to-do list and finish those urgent items first. I’ll go over a recent experience at gift card rescue.

We decided to mail out Thanksgiving cards this year to our top customers. The benefits of sending a Thanksgiving card being your message isn’t diluted with all of the Christmas cards, it’s unique & unexpected, and you get the advantage of first entry. Sounds easy enough though right?

Not completely. First we had to customize the cards by adding our logo, which was easy enough using Cards Direct. I then had to go through our metrics to determine who our top customers are and which people should receive the cards. Our business operates in two ways, you can buy discount gift cards or sell unwanted gift cards. It was important to include both people who bought cards and sold cards to us. Being a start-up we also wanted to mail cards to our customers who have supported us from the beginning (another set of data).

When the list was finally compiled, we added a personal touch by having all of our employees sign each individual card.  The cards didn’t have our return address printed on them, so that required a trip to Staples for some new Dymo labels. Printing the labels and packaging the cards took another hour or so, and it turned out that Cards Direct shorted us on our order. In their defense, they replaced the cards that they mailed, but by the time we received them it was Thanksgiving.

Now I’m sure you’ve read more about Thanksgiving cards that I’m sure you’ve ever wanted to, but this is just an example of how much time one project can take. Use your resources in your start-up wisely.

What’s an example of a project that seemed really easy, but ended up taking a lot of time? Did you complete it or scrap it entirely?

Disclaimer: Stratification may or may not be infraction of copyright from Alex Blagg and a bajillion hits, but I’m probably okay with that.