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  • Maybe Martha No More

    But there have been concerns that even though many of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia business holdings are solid, the digital platforms are not performing well, and that she herself, might need to adopt a more immediate sense of austerity: we’ll see how that goes – I’m not so sure.

    There are rumblings – more like direct proclamations that Martha Stewart’s empire has been losing money for the last few years: just enough to consider whether the way forward necessitates subtle changes or prodigious ones.

    I guess any woman business owner – especially one so famous, one that conjures so much veneration and disgust simultaneously: any news is big news when it comes to Martha Stewart, especially when looking at the multifarious business empire that is her namesake — her personal and professional identity.

    But there have been concerns that even though many of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia business holdings are solid, the digital platforms are not performing well, and that she, herself, might need to adopt a more immediate sense of austerity: we’ll see how that goes – I’m not so sure.

    Jim Edwards in his BNET article, Martha Stewart’s Mess: Advertisers Bail But She Keeps Her “Weekend Driver”, explains how Martha might need to change herself – her perspective — her way of operating and identify the way forward, so she can change the company.

    Edwards writes, “As Blackstone Advisory Partners invites tire-kickers to examine Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO)’s books, they will find an unprofitable company that is mostly failing to deal with the digital media age. On the plus side, there is a functional business somewhere within the mess that is Martha, it’s just that breaking that news to the company’s founder — and persuading her that she may need to tighten her own belt a bit — could be difficult. She owns voting control of the company’s stock….It’s not that there’s anything fundamentally unsound about the company. Adult supervision could probably turn the place around in a couple of years, largely through cuts and efficiencies. But that would require Stewart to concentrate on her creative product and accept professional management of everything else, including her compensation. It’s tough to imagine her saying yes.”

    I do believe there is more scrutiny being paid to her because she is woman, and also because she incites such inflammatory feelings to many people, but as I like to say in many of my Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals posits: the more a company enjoys success and matures – the least it is equipped to change on its own. Every three years or so: you need to “blow-up” the company to save it.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    Calvin.wilson1@verizon.net

    Filed Under: Women's Business

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