Baker Auction - October/November 2019

Reignite Your Passion Lessons in Innovation From Henry Ford

I think most people can agree that loyalty is a good thing. When it comes to doing what’s best for your charity or nonprofit, loyalty can become your Achilles’ heel. I know that sounds counterintuitive, so let me explain. Say you’ve been using the same auctioneer at your annual benefit event every year for the past 10, 15, or even 20 years. You know them well, and they might even do a pretty good job at hosting your event. But what if your benefit auctions could bring in so much more? What if you could get more donors through the door and raise more money for your cause? What if your favorite auctioneer is holding you back? We’ve seen it time and time again with so many of the organizations we’ve met and worked with. They want to go bigger and better with their auctions. They want to bring in those funds that can help the families and individuals who really need it. They just can’t seem to square with the idea of giving up the auctioneer they know will at least get the job done. They don’t want to seem disloyal to someone they’ve worked with for years. Loyalty or Fear of Change? How Loyalty Can Be Your Achilles’ Heel

As organizations scale, there is a lot to focus on: hiring the right staff, creating the most effective fundraising strategies, and setting up efficient operations. With so much to do, it’s easy to lose sight of your initial vision for your organization. If you’re stuck in a rut, know that you’re not alone. Plenty of the most successful operations have endured the same struggles and, with a little ambition and a lot of creativity, came out on top. Take Henry Ford, for example. Henry Ford made the automobile accessible and appealing for the common citizen. This ignited interest in the market from consumers and manufacturers alike, which led to innovations like air conditioning and other appliances we can’t imagine living without today. There were some key factors that played into his success, and, if you apply them to your own journey, you could gain a new perspective and be inspired to create and innovate in your industry. Consumer-Focused Ford realized cars were unreliable and unaffordable to most and set out to change that. After developing the first moving assembly line, Ford lowered the price of cars and made them accessible for people outside the upper class for the first time. As long as you keep the consumer and their needs in mind, you’ll find ways to make their experience better and increase your success. Small Changes, Big Impact Unlike many organizations today that sacrifice quality for quantity, Ford found ways to focus on both. He looked at how cars were actually made and found that, if he could build more cars within a certain time frame, he could pay less per car, per worker. Thus, the moving assembly line was born. When looking for ways to innovate in your industry, rethinking even the smallest, simplest details can make a huge difference for your business. You may not be able to reinvent the wheel, but who said you couldn’t reinvent the brake pads? Henry Ford may have changed the automobile industry forever, but you don’t have to go to such lengths to innovate in your own. The next time you find yourself uninspired or stagnant, look to those who made your industry what it is today. You might just find the inspiration you’ve been searching for.

I understand that line of thought. Here, at Baker Auction Co., we’re all about getting as much support for your organization or your cause as

Your Donors Won’t Bid If They Can’t See or Hear What’s Happening

At Baker Auction Co., a large part of our success is due to the energy we’re able to generate in a crowd. That said, a small but crucial piece of engaging an audience is something few of our clients consider: audiovisual enhancements. At the end of the day, if your donors can’t hear or see what’s going on, they’re not going to give to your cause. That’s why a good sound system and clear visual aids are key parts of any successful auction. I’ve worked with a lot of clients who will show us this big, beautiful venue and then do a soundcheck while it’s completely empty. The only problem is that when the venue is full of people, the sound is going to work a lot differently. Just recently, we did an event for an organization out of town. As we were on our way to check out the venue, I called and asked them to spring for extra sound. They said they would work on it, but can you guess what they didn’t do? Now, I’m pretty loud, but without proper sound equipment, that only gets me so far. The audience could barely hear me over their drinking and socializing, let alone over any laughing and cheering that happened.

If you want to host an incredible auction, always budget for enhanced sound. And if your donors still can’t hear you, that’s where the visual aids

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