Threadless.com will sell over 1 million must-have too-cool t-shirts this year earning them something in the order of US$20 million in revenue.
Guess how many staff they have?
Yep, that’s right. Just 35.
As a very rough rule of thumb a business is doing pretty well if it employs just 5 people for every US$1million in revenue earned. Or, put another way, it’s a good business if every employee adds US$200,000 to the top line.
Threadless.com employs just 1.75 people for every US$1million in revenue. Each employee adds a phenomenal US$571,000 to the top line.
So how does Threadless out-do the best companies?
They use their customers to do the work for them.
Customers submit t-shirt designs to the website, customers vote on the best design of the week and customers run a magnificent word-of-mouth marketing campaign.
The only thing that Threadless.com has to do is to print t-shirts with the winning design and sell them on-line (for about US$15 each).
My nibble is this: what can you change about your business to get your customers to give you a free hand?
And having built my own furniture (thank you Ikea) and assembled my children’s bicycles (thank you Toys R Us) t-shirt design can’t be that hard.
work at home
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