This weeks Idea: This picture is worth “way” more than a 1000 words!

with Neil Godin

First the picture. Then the story. So here’s the picture…

“The Wilderness,” is a 6x10-foot romantic log cabin hand hewn by A Fine Logbuilding Co. Ltd. in Chilliwack, BC.

“The Wilderness,” is a 6×10-foot romantic log cabin
hand hewn by A Fine Logbuilding Co. Ltd. in Chilliwack, BC.

Isn’t that phenomenal? You’re looking at a log cabin made the old way – before logs were peeled and cut to fit – the way cabins had to be made when trappers and explorers had to build shelter with few tools and fewer choices – the way a lot of us (romantics) would like to see them built again.

The only thing more impressive than this photo is – in my opinion – the price that Eric Menard and his team at A Fine Logbuilding Co., in Chilliwack, BC, are able to sell them at.  This cabin – complete with cedar shake roof, door, shutters for the window opening, and a solid floor – sells for just $4900 !!

Can you imagine the possibilities? 

Think of the possibilities: A summer guest house in the back yard. A back yard garden shed. A painting studio. A children’s play house. A wilderness outfitters shelter. A cross-country ski or snowshoe cabin. A fishing or hunting cabin. A boat house. A quiet and private retreat. A sauna. A yoga studio. A cabin in the woods. A cabin at the lake…

Why does this excite me?

Okay. Time for full disclosure. One reason that these log cabins excite me is that Eric is my newest marketing and sales coaching client. He asked me to help him level out the hills and valleys in his business. A Fine Logbuilding Co. builds fine log buildings (strangely enough), and a lot of other things that are made out of logs – like massive log structures that accent commercial buildings and resorts; like huge, gnarly log picnic tables and benches, and picnic shelters, and magnificent log homes – and more!

While the company is very well established and successful, Eric faces the same challenge faced by most owners of businesses that produce custom work: “The hills and valleys syndrome.” Huge custom projects come in, but are often followed by a lull, when things are way too quiet. (Do you recognize this syndrome in your business?)

In Eric’s case, we brainstormed products that his people could make when there are no large custom projects in the shop – products that could be made using most of the same equipment, skills and materials that the custom work required, so there wouldn’t have to be a major adjustment in production. Solution: These beautiful log cabins.

Ah, but are Eric and I right in thinking these cabins are the perfect solution?  And are we right in thinking that the 6×10 version is “very” attractively priced at $4900?  Can’t take a chance. So. This weekend, we hit the road. What road? Lickman Road. A main road off the Highway One freeway in Chilliwack. Where we will place three versions of the log cabins (with the smallest one priced at just $3900) on a rented vacant lot – and invite passing people to come on in and have a look – and even place an order if they’d like to.  In other words, we’re doing what I call a “Roadside Marketing” exercise, combined with “live” market research, to see if we’re right – or not.

Will you help us spread the word? 

What do you think? If you were in the Chilliwack area this weekend, would you come by to take a closer look?  What do you think of the $4900 price on the cabin in our photo? And. If you bought a cabin, how would you use it?  Would you please take a moment to give me your feedback?  And…just as important…would you please help Eric spread the word by sharing the link to the blog post version of today’s Marketing Dangerously newsletter, at (www.marketingdangerously.com) with people in your network?  Joining our little “word of mouse” campaign in this way will really help with our research, and possibly, with Eric’s sales as well. (And you know that if you’ve got something interesting that we can spread the word about, we’ll be happy to do the same for you – as always).

Your call to action: 

Over to you. Do you suffer the hills and valleys syndrome in your business? If you do, what could you do to reduce or eliminate the valleys, while preserving the hills? As always, holding a brainstorm session with your people (if you have people), or a fellow business owner (if you don’t have people), could unlock the creativity that leads to a brilliant idea.

Where could you do this? Well. Eric has a log cabin that would be perfect for a brainstorming retreat. Why not call him at 604.819.3610. Or toll free at 1.866.793.4875. You know he’d love to hear from you.

See you next week!

Neil

Ps – If you’re in the Chilliwack area this weekend, Eric’s Open House (“Open Cabin?”) will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days (rain or shine). Get there by taking the Lickman Road South exit from Highway One (located south of the main Chilliwack exits). Follow the signs to the log cabins, located at the corner of Lickman and Luckacuck Way. I’m going. Hope to see you there.

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Comments

  1. If I lived in Chilliwack I’d definitely stop to take a closer look! I have a Viceroy home in a rural setting and this style of outbuilding would suit my backyard perfectly. I live in Ontario. The price does seem very reasonable for a very unique building! All the best.

  2. Anne Gapper says:

    Oh to have the space – I would definitely use this as a studio if I had the land to put it on! Eric – good luck with this endeavour!

  3. Shelley Cheetham says:

    I LOVE these!!!!I live in Maple Ridge, and am currently beginning the process of selling my house and moving to the interior of BC, where I want to open a B&B type business. I prefer the idea of guests having their own “space”..and am toying with the idea of having cabins built. I also had thought of hiring someone to construct me a Gypsy Caravan type of cabin, that was moveable to different sites on the property. I am going to try to make it out to your “Open Cabin ” to have a look….very interested!!!!

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