Good Tools

Chapman Manufacturing

Good tools are good investments

Made in Durham, CT 

“Chapman tools and parts are American made and assembled from American made materials. Everything from the gear inside our famous midget ratchet, to our steel and paper brochures are made in America, the way it has been since 1936.”

A small company that makes a good product. That is fundamental to a strong economy….and business success.



Vizio TV

Our LG 32″ TV broke. It was less than five years old. Of course a new one was required.

The immediate choice….a Vizio 32″ LED 1080p Smart TV for $175 at Costco.

Will it be a better television? The LG was $239 in 2014 and only 720p. So the Vizio is $60 less expensive and has a sharper picture.

A good choice….time will tell.

Full Service


From WRAL:

There are few full service stations left….except there is one in Nashville, NC….east of Raleigh.

While the full service option is a good business model for Taylor’s Exxon….the following is the most important:

“Taylor summed up how he and his father have been able to succeed in the business by saying one must treat people right.”

“That’s the main thing,” he said. “We don’t try to sell people stuff they don’t need. A lot of people trust us – and trust is the main thing that keeps bringing people back.”


Lost Sales

During the week of January 29 / 30 2019, A massive winter storm hovered over the midwest, blizzard conditions.

The above photo shows conditions on Western Ave, Muskegon 1978….snow drifts….cars buried in three feet of snow. Of course, business came to a complete halt.

Customers were absolutely not thinking of buying home furnishings. It took a week to return to normal.

Our only option – shovel out and move forward.

Customer Service

A Business Strategy

Seth Godin (1.24.19): 

“The truth about strategy in a competitive environment: If you are doing what everyone else is doing, if you are inside the band of common, then it’s not an approach that will move you forward. The only way to use customer service as a growth strategy is to be outside the accepted norms.”

“You can treat your customers like they don’t have a choice, but in the long run, customers always have a choice.”

Customer service is as important as the product (s). We were fortunate to have “Joe” to fix any problem. It  was our best strategy.

News Roundup

January 2019

+ Where are they now from December 2013:

+ Where are they now from January 2014:

+ Customer service:

+ Serth Godin:  Marketing used to be advertising. Now, marketing is everything you do. And what you do either adds to the experience or takes away from it.

+ Autonomous bread maker:

+ McDonalds apple pie supplier:

+ Red Hat (Raleigh) success:

+ Radio Flyer wagon:

News Roundup

November 2018

+ Where are they now from November 2013

+ NY/VT regional icon:

+ Harvard Business Review – Teambuilding:

+ Networking?:

+ “I live to be stolen from without attribution–it means you’ve internalized it. At we give everything away and pray that you will steal it!!”

+ Not every business survives:

+ Amazon selling Christmas trees:

+ Harley-Davidson future: