Sitting in a cab, stopped in traffic, in the dark, at 5:53 am, 17 degrees outside. There’s a long line of cars sitting on the highway, each waiting to enter the Laguardia Airport.
Ramit, my cab driver, tells me Laguardia has been under construction for the last two years. And, it’ll take another two years to finish the new terminal. Meanwhile we wait as traffic tries to squeeze from three lanes to one in a construction zone.
Several passengers have given up on riding to the airport. They have leapt out of their Ubers and cabs and are dragging their suitcases to the airport on foot, through the snow banks on the side of the road. Hurrying to get to the gate before their flight departs.
I’m in New York City for consulting days with two clients. I love my New York City clients, in May. January is too cold for this Florida boy.
Laguardia airport is being remodeled because it’s become known for being shabby looking and ill equipped for the volume of passengers it handles each day. As painful as it is for everyone concerned, four years of construction is necessary to update it for the next few decades.
I often work with clients who recognize their new member onboarding materials are shabby and ill-equipped to engage and retain their members. This costs them in lost members and ongoing member revenue. Or, they be frustrated that their marketing materials aren’t generating the new members it should. Each month that goes by is a lost opportunity to generate more new members. Or, they know their monthly benefits aren’t engaging. They are created because there’s a deadline. It ships, but it’s not as good as it can be.
Lots of people recognize they have broken aspects of their business. They tell themselves it doesn’t matter. Or, that they don’t have the time right now. Or, they feel like they tried improving it once and it didn’t work out.
Then, there are those people who recognize they have problems and step up to fix them. I’m with those people.
All those promises about the power of the subscription business model, long term recurring revenue, starting the month with sales rather than having to find new customers each month and a vibrant tribe of members who love what you produce and refer their friends. You don’t realize these benefits because you decide to create a subscription program. These benefits come only when you run a subscription program in the right way. Your subscription must offer products that solves a real problem in peoples’ lives, entertains and educates members while helping them solve problems in their lives and gets them engaged in a community.
How would you score your membership and subscription program against this scale? All of us are in the process of living up to these values. There’s no shame in striving to achieve. Only in settling for mediocrity.
Building a membership that is useful and will scale takes time and work. While I don’t enjoy sitting in traffic waiting to get into the airport I recognize building something really big like an airport takes work and an investment of time.
It’s strange that people believe they can set-up a some web page and then expect the recurring revenue is going to automatically grow. It takes time, investment of work and it may even be inconvenient at times.
But the payoff is something that will last. Members who love you because every month you bring entertainment, excitement and engagement into their lives. A vibrant tribe of members who eagerly pay your membership, buy your products and invite their friends to join your movement.
Creating membership programs that grow, isn’t easy. But it’s worth the investment.
You are going to build a business one way or another. You may as well build one that grows, requires less work and generates recurring revenue for you. And, if you’d like to speed up this process, let me know. I’m happy to help you get it implemented a lot faster. A few months of work are worth years of satisfaction and growth. I love to work with the doers, particularly when the weather is warmer.