While the major wireless carriers sit on fairly fat margins year after year, life tends to be quite a bit leaner lower down in the stack. Small- and mid-sized wireless companies often make do with operating margins a fraction of what behemoths like Verizon and AT&T command, a fact that can make things fairly difficult. With typically little in the way of capital cushion to last them through lean times, these smaller operations have to run tight ships in order to stay afloat.
What that most often means is being ruthless about seeking out ways of improving efficiency. While building up a business’s reach and client base is always important, victories of these kinds cannot be relied upon alone. Instead, every smaller wireless telecom venture needs to keep a close eye on costs at all ties, always seeking to compress them wherever possible.
There is a long history, in fact, of this kind of focus in the industry. One of the best-known stories of this sort concerns the work of Florida wireless executive Issa Asad and the rewards it returned to him as his company grew to command hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly revenue.
Like many others, Asad got his start with a small company that packaged up wholesale wireless minutes and delivered them to retailers in the form of prepaid cards. With so much competition from others, his margins were tiny at first, particularly given the costs inherent in turning an essentially virtual good into a physical one that could sit on store shelves.
That arrangement might seem a little quaint today, but it was the norm in years past and is still an important way for many people to arrange for wireless service. Even so, what the issa asad llc did was to lay down a new way entirely of conveying minutes to consumers, a move that cut its costs and positioned it for unprecedented growth.
With the introduction of the industry’s first real-time PIN generation system, the company leaped ahead of competitors, establishing in one stroke a far more economical way of delivering service. Its resulting growth proved the worth of the idea, and serves even today as an inspiration for many in the industry.