John launched Manko Delivery Systems, Inc. in 1999.
Based out of Tampa, Florida, Manko is a last mile delivery and logistics company, whose slogan is ‘our product is service, our commitment is excellence.’ John is an active member of the board and executive team of MCAA (Messenger Courier Association of America) and also the Chair of their membership committee.
I met John several years ago at a national messenger courier association annual meeting and was immediately taken with his polite and affable charm. Listening to him speak and interact with others I quickly recognized John as a respected leader in the industry. John gets involved, is passionate about helping his entire industry be perceived with professionalism and goes above and beyond in helping its members improve and grow. So it was no surprise to find out that he also runs a very successful business.
As it is his nature to be helpful, John readily agreed to my interrogation.
Q: Are you using or planning on using marketing this year to grow your business, and why?
A: Yes, our marketing approach for 2011 is a multi-pronged approach. A combination of collateral materials; our website is being redesigned; and additional tradeshow exposure. Marketing is a very important part of any business model and should act to support and reinforce your organization’s sales efforts.
Q: What marketing efforts do you expect your sales growth to come from?
A: Traditional collateral materials; use of our new website (that will be interactive rather than static); thru redesign and SEO efforts; frequenting and participating in more tradeshows and industry events i.e. MCAA, ECA, NASSTRAC, PROMAT, Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), Air Cargo, etc.
Growing organically is one option but we knew that partnerships and acquisitions was another viable option. With the economic downturn there were more opportunities to forge strategic alliances with companies that had synergies with our business, giving both parties an opportunity to exist in the same market profitably. So we’ve spent more time pursuing new market opportunities and have made some acquisitions of smaller firms that had hit hard times. Being flexible and more strategic led us to add to and expand our services, and have been able to do this by outsourcing and conversely being an outsource resource to other companies.
These emerging opportunities got on our radar because I make it a point to be involved in industry associations that keep me plugged into market shifts and networking with a broad range of other business owners and industry experts.
Q: Would you like to offer a tip or lesson learned to other entrepreneurs?
A: 50 cents of every marketing dollar is a complete waste of money, the trick is figuring out which 50 cents is the waste!
I would also like to add that the right people in the right job make a difference. We’ve invested in hiring experienced and talented people to handle the change and growth we are experiencing and poised for the growth we are projecting.
(Disclosure: Bumblebee Design & Marketing is designing Manko’s new website.)