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Monday, September 15, 2008

Grow The Pie

Grow The Pie. That’s the point of TU. Its the purpose of education. It’s the reason for Certification. Grow the pie, Grow the pie, Grow the pie.
Its worth repeating because the retail Tobacconist pie has been shrinking for decades. Furthermore, perpetually increasing taxes, smoking bans, mail order, and anti-smoking legislation threaten our industry more than ever. Yet, if you converted just 10% of cigarette smokers to cigars, you would practically double the size of the cigar industry (see Smoking Stats for proof). These are profound facts!

To paraphrase the Outlaw Tobacconist Genius:

‘If you focus on growing the pie, your slice automatically gets bigger.’
While the luxury tobacco industry is filled with brilliant business men and women, it has been forced into self-preservation mode for decades. Companies are terrified of legislation and taxes; they hyper-focus on economies of scale, internal efficiencies, and maximizing ROI, all while margins decline, products get commoditized, and taxes increase: it’s a brutal scenario.
Not surprisingly, until Tobacconist University, we were practically the only industry without formalized education and certification standards for professionals. But the challenges are far from over for us. Now, Tobacconists, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers of luxury tobacco must get involved and work together to project our credibility and preserve our future.

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