Entry # 10: Think Outside the (Shoe) Box

A good customer came to our office and asked if I knew anyone who could make custom shoe box sleeves.  He said he knew I couldn’t produce them because my press couldn’t handle big enough sheet sizes.

He looked stressed and confused, and told me this was for his biggest customer and it was due in 24 hours and he had no clue where to go because he only needed 150 units.

I suggested he go get a cup of coffee and come back in a half hour so I could talk through some options with my team. He came back in 20 minutes and in that time we had a quick meeting and determined we could do the project if we used our machines in a very non-traditional way.

We produced a mock-up sleeve and, my customer, with tears welling up in his eyes almost kissed me (which we don’t generally encourage).

The customer came back the next morning and picked up 150 shoe box sleeves and has become one of our most loyal customers.

Are you turning away opportunities because on the surface they don’t appear to fit within the parameters of what you believe your core business to be?  Maybe it’s time for a creative “whack on the side of the head” and approach your business from a different perspective.  Sit down with your best customers and have them tell you their perspective on your strengths and what else you might be able to do for them…

Initiate conversations with every employee to get their thoughts on what else your company might do with the talent and capabilities.  In other words… think outside the (shoe) box.  You’ll be surprised by what you might find.

Kurt Kubik, Owner
Island Pro Digital
35 Davids Dr.
Hauppauge NY, 11788
T – 631.293.4217 x101
F – 631.293.3401
www.islandprodigital.com – LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook

April 2012: The Supplier Spotlight Monthly SBE Contest.

Sponsored by Supplier-Connection – An initiative of major US companies committed to spending more with US-based small businesses.


About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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5 Responses to Entry # 10: Think Outside the (Shoe) Box

  1. Bob Zounek says:

    Great story Kurt.

  2. That’s the way to put “service” into customer service. Nice job!

  3. Wanda Gangel says:

    It’s nice to think outside the box!

  4. Christine Dabrowski says:

    Great Kurt…That was the true creativity and experience coming to life as usual! The best! Christine Dabrowski

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