Is there a special type of marketing, production, or research and development where you might be struggling right now financially? Do you need an edge over a competitor? You may want to consider carving out overseas to get strategic. From a vision standpoint, people in other countries view your product, your marketing challenges, and your whole company and the position of your company within its landscape different than you in the US.
Everything about it is healthy. It’s a different opinion. It’s a different take. Some of these people are light years behind us in technology and thinking. Some of them are light years ahead of us in talent, time, energy and vision. That gives them a unique vantage point. It’s time to go overseas and get some of that vision. Remember, three from one. For every one single individual you have in the US, you can get three people overseas. To truly service our customer better, we should go with a better solution for the same dollar.
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Three From One
This is part two of a four-part Vision series and I’m going to go a little bit against the grain. I just drove home twelve hours from our Pennsylvania office, so I had a lot of thinking time. I also had a lot of radio time. I was listening to a lot of political news and something really caught my eye. It was the fact that Harley Davidson was moving a major plant overseas and how people on different sides of the political spectrum were going ballistic either way. They either loved it or hated it. There were definite reasons for both.
There is a big mantra to keep everything in the US and believe me, I get it. Anytime I can buy something for the US, I’ll even pay more. It’s a definite time and place in which you’ve got to go overseas for labor. It’s just physically not optional. I’d like to give you one right now. Harley Davidson eight years ago was part of a 570,000-motorcycle year. Meaning that year, half a million motorcycles were sold. Last year, 570,000 was down to 280,000 in seven years. The reason for this is the Baby Boomers are getting so old, they stop riding and the size of the generation behind the Baby Boomers is 45% the size. There’s just physically not people to buy motorcycles, at least the Harley type of motorcycle but buy different types of motorcycles.
On the flipside, in Europe in 2010, there were 180,000 sold. In 2017, 720,000 sold. In the US, Harley dropped 50%. In Europe, they grew 400%. Here’s what’s scary. All of their physical retail shops, distribution, manufacturing, all their presence is in the United States. They have more customers now in Europe that they can’t service in any capacity with real customer service.
They made a decision two years ago to move some stuff to Europe, which is logical. As a matter of fact, it’s not optional. It would be silly to stay in the US. This is a series on Vision. We bought a company years ago that had four people in Bucharest, Romania, four content writers. Over the years, we converted these content writers to link builders, a very specific part of marketing. We found that they were outperforming our US link builders by about 40% but that wasn’t the key.
The key was a heart surgeon in Bucharest makes $1,100 a month US. A heart surgeon. We were paying our link builders three levels, $600, $800 and $1,100 a month. Our high-end link builders were making as much or more than a heart surgeon. We were adding so much value to these people in Romania and every time we fly out there they just hug us crying, “Thank you so much.”
It’s amazing. They’re winning because we’re overpaying in Romania. We’re winning because we’re getting the better quality of marketing for the proportion of one fourth of the cost. To truly service our customer better, why would we not go with a 400% better solution for the same dollar? Here’s my question to you. Over the last two years, every time a single individual left us in the US, we said, “Could we replace them with three people in Romania?”
We have soon to be 65 people in Romania but at the same time we have more people in the US now than two years ago. We’re still adding US people, we’re still growing in the US but instead of having 120 people in the US, we have 120 people split between two countries. If there’s a special type of marketing, is there a special type of production? Is there a special type of research and development where you might be struggling right now financially or you need an edge over a competitor? Is there something that you can carve out overseas to get very strategic? I’m sure there is not one Fortune 100 company where 5% of the staff isn’t overseas, 5% of the consulting doesn’t come from overseas or 5% have some form of distribution.
That stats is three years old. Right now, it could be a bigger percentage but I’m pretty sure I heard and I will definitely look for clarification. It’s either X percent of the Fortune 500 or Fortune 100 but it was startling what percentage of them are tied into other countries. My question directly to you is from a vision standpoint, do you understand that the people in other countries see your product, your marketing challenges and your whole company and the position of your company within its landscape different than you in the US?
Is that vision of how they see it differently, good or bad? Is it healthy or unhealthy? Everything about it is healthy. It’s a different opinion. It’s a different take. Some of these people are light years behind us in technology and thinking, so that gives them a unique vantage point. Some of them are light years ahead of us in talent and time and energy and vision. If you don’t go overseas and get some of that vision, I’m going to say, “Shame on you.”
If you haven’t, it’s now time. If you’re a one-man show, get a VA that’s not in the United States. Get a virtual assistant. They’re going to use all the apps and tools you’ve never heard of. All of their clients are already in America anyway, most of them. This is part two of Vision. I’m going to say it the way I would tell some of our staff, get out of your own way, trust your gut, trust other people and stop having a faith problem. Not faith in an entity upstairs, faith in an entity called yourself. Get out of your own way. Trust that you’re not the first and last person to know everything, trust other people and give other people in other areas a chance. Trust their vision.