From the Front Lines

Rethink Your Revenue Models

By Hank Berkowitz • August 31, 2016

Change Up Your Revenue Model


Adapted from a session given at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo by:

Sheri Jacobs, CEO, Avenue M Group
Robert Weidner, President & Chief Executive Officer, Metals Service Center Institute

“The term ‘status quo’ is an oxymoron,” Weidner said. “The time you should be tossing and turning the most at night are the times when you think everything’s going well. That’s when your most likely to be disrupted.” He continued by saying that associations have to challenge conventional thinking and anticipate future disruptions. We get paid by our members to do this. They’re busy running the day-to-day and don’t have time to do this on their own.

Boards tend to be risk-averse by nature, but things are changing so fast today, that it’s more risky NOT to change, Jacobs said. “We get so involved in tweaking our member benefits, but you’ve got to constantly think about what’s going to come in and disrupt,” he said.

She went on to describe how associations can learn by all the ways that Netflix not only disrupted Blockbuster, but kept disrupting itself, from CDs to streaming to original content creation. She also used as examples Rent the Runway, a high-end fashion rental service, and pay-as-you-go classes rather than fixed memberships at her gym, Orangetheory Fitness.