Have you fallen into the mile-wide trap?

Have you fallen into the mile-wide trap?

If your company’s revenue has stalled after a period of rapid growth, you may have fallen into The Mile-Wide Trap. Consider the case of Kim (not her real name) who runs a public relations firm.

Kim studied marketing at school and went on to work for a big advertising agency where she spent ten years learning a variety of marketing disciplines, from public relations to advertising to direct marketing and social media. Then Kim decided to leave her job to start a public relations firm.

Given her depth of experience and connections, she quickly landed tractor giant John Deere as a client and was asked to handle their regional dealer events. She hired some helpers and her start-up agency quickly began to grow. Kim did a great job with the dealer events, so John Deere asked her to handle their annual sales conference. Again she delivered with style and creativity. Impressed by Kim’s innovative approach to the event, John Deere asked her to handle some of the creative for their next advertising campaign.  Kim had started her company to do PR, not advertising, but John Deere was a great client so she agreed to help out with the ads.

Then John Deere asked her to take a look at their website. Kim’s new employees had no experience with web design, but Kim had done some website jobs back at the ad agency. Not wanting to disappoint John Deere, Kim started to personally handle projects that her employees didn’t have the ability to execute. Kim didn’t worry about new business development for own firm because the more John Deere asked Kim to do, the busier – and more profitable – her firm became.

Then one day Kim looked at her monthly P&L statement and realized that, for the first time, their sales were flat on a month-over-month basis. The next month it happened again and then again. Kim had run out of hours in the day to sell – she had inadvertently fallen into The Mile-Wide Trap.

In our next blog we will talk about the solution.