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Fubo Ė An economic boost for a small company

                                        By Dean Nicosia

February 25, 2008

Thereís a lot of talk here in Rochester about the new Bob Lonsberry campaign Ė Fubo. You can read his column about Fubo and decide for yourself how you feel about it, if you can even figure out what it means. (Really, you donít have to be that bright to figure it out)  Some people love it, and are buying Fubo stuff, saying the word and making their own signs, including writing in the dirt on their cars. Others are pretty angry about it. They figure itís disrespectful of our president. (Although nobody seemed to care when our president was GW)

Personally I like it, for two reasons. First and for the purpose of full disclosure, I work for the print company who has set up the web store for FUBO. You can see the store here at www.fubowear.com. So my company stands to benefit from the success of Bobís little venture, and to me thatís great! Not just because Iím an evil businessman, but also because Iím genuinely concerned about my crew. Iím not sure if youíve read whatís left of the Business section in whatís left of the D&C lately, but things are not good out there in terms of Jobs and the overall economy, and the outlook is murky at best.

At our t-shirt company we were in the middle of our annual slow season, and hoping for things to pick up. We had 1 guy on layoff and if we were like all the other printing companies out there, we would have had Ĺ our crew on layoff. But we donít like to do that, weíve had some of our good people for over 10 years, and most for over 5 years, and we donít want to put them through that every year, and chance losing them for that matter. So to keep from laying anyone else off we were on a 4-day workweek, just to get through a slow season.

The slow season comes every year, and every year we lose money for almost 8 weeks, but then it gets busy and we work hard to make it up. But this year is different, this year the whole country/world is experiencing a downturn like we havenít seen in decades. This year the fear was that we just might not come out of our slow season, or at least on time. Normally itís about half way through March when we start to pick up, but this year is far from normal.

And then came FUBO, with enough business and busy-work in the first week of sales to at least temporarily bring us out of that slow season, two weeks earlier than normal. Back to a 5-day workweek, and a call put out to our one employee on layoff. 

All that from an idea and a word Ė Fubo.

It was a slow Thursday and I was sitting at my desk listening to Lonsberry. Without re-telling his story from the column, Iím the t-shirt guy who emailed him with the offer that we could make the whole thing happen. We could do everything right here in Rochester, and host it right out of our existing web store.

Thatís what big Internet t-shirt companies do all of the time, only not locally. Itís expensive to put up a web store, manage it, inventory products and fulfill orders. So big companies will set you up with a web store from their site and produce/fulfill the orders for your company or group. All you have to do is send in the artwork, pick the products and set the price points. They do this at pretty high prices, after youíve added the amount that you want to make off each product, and they get your customers to their store, so you can browse their other products. It works out pretty good for them.

So we decided to start doing the same type of thing on a smaller scale, only do it better and offer better price points and a better split for the group setting up the web store. (As a wholesale printer, we are used to working off lower margins than most retail web t-shirt stores) We would benefit by selling some shirts for the group setting up the web store, But we would also benefit by having their customers come through our store and browse our other products.

And that was perfect for this project, because Lonsberry wanted to keep this local. He wanted the products to be printed locally, and sold out of a local web store. Because that is what Lonsberry is all about. He supports local workers at local companies. Even if you donít like Lonsberry, you have to admit that about him, unless your hate for people with different opinions blinds you.

So emails were sent back and forth, and a store was set up, and a week later our company is doing better than it was the previous week Ė Fubo.

The second reason that I like Fubo is simple, so Iíll keep it simple. Iím not a socialist, and I love my freedom that many great men and women paid the price for. I wonít belabor that, just read my article on state vodka. Or better yet read a real writer on the subject in Bobís column.

I donít want to see our country mortgage itís freedom to save some banks and car companies. As Glenn Beck said on ďFox and friendsĒ this morning, ďthe backbone of our country is NOT the financial institutions and the banks, or even the government, itís the peopleĒ (said with a good deal of passion) Heís right, and thatís what Bob means by Fubo.

Either way, you donít have to embrace FUBO, and maybe it even offends you. Iím not exactly sure how I feel about it from that standpoint (Iím not big on offending people, even by accident), but I know how I feel about it on two other points. 1.) My crew is working again 2.) Iím not a socialist.

Thatís good enough for me to say Thanks Bob Ė Fubo!

God Bless and Go Patriots!

 

...Thatís just My Slanted View!!