Thanks to all the commenters to last week's "Best of" posts. KISW's B.J. Shea wrote the following response to our "What's Your New Plan B?" post.
Great column today. I don't profess to have all of the answers, but I do have some observations... radio, and other businesses don't seem to operate the way I run my home and family. Perhaps that is the problem. My family needs my wife and me to be savvy, responsible business people to insure that we have a healthy economic life.
So, what does my family business do that radio doesn't?
No frivolous spending. The very basics of my family economy is to spend our money wisely. Can we have fun? Sure, as long as the fun money is a very small percentage of the financial pool.
Live below our means. Getting used to a lower standard of living than the banks, mass media, and stock market tell me has served me very well. As my compensation has increased, so has my quality of life, but it's still very much below what the so-called experts say it should be.
Re-invest into the family. Since 1 and 2 have given us a cash surplus, we are now able to invest in our family wisely. Skimping on education, clothing, appliances, vehicles, etc. has always been short-sighted to me. Quality will always trump quantity. Flashy purchases that offer no long lasting value are just plain foolish and useless.
Reasonable profit expectations. We don't expect to get rich quick. A former investor for Paul Allen told me that if the profit margin is more than 15%, the business is probably shaky, if not criminal.
We value each other. We treat each other as important members of this family business. Therefore, we compensate them generously. It makes no sense to "nickel & dime" the people who help make the business great.
We get help. If our family is overworked, then we all suffer. So, it makes no sense to cut corners when fulfilling our workload requirements. If no one can clean the house, because of a busy schedule, then we need to reduce someone's workload or bring someone else in to help.
As I said, Fred, I don't have all the answers, but I believe a "family" approach to radio couldn't hurt. I know it doesn't hurt my show. As a matter of fact I have had no significant budget increase, but am bringing on two new team members this January. Why? Because, I and the company expects more of us, and the best way to do that is to get help. How can my show do this?
Oh... and we have a lot of fun!