Future Business

Recently our Toyota Camry had a makeover….an automobile detailing**

After two hours, the Camry looked almost new….inside and out. An excellent job by the owner of the company. He arrived on time was pleasant….proficient and professional. A good choice.

When the final tasks were completed….the gentlemen indicated he was done and would be on his way. From a business perspective the sale was made and service rendered. Yet, there is one more step.

I had to ask for a business card. While some businesses are very good at what they do….they sometimes lack real business instincts. In this case, a business card….a referral card….an invitation for another detailing, would be strong marketing tools for future business. 

** Auto detailing is the act of performing a thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of a motor vehicle, to produce a show-quality cleanliness and polish. Detailing can be performed on a vehicle’s exterior and/or interior.


Thank You

From the Doctor

How often does a patient get a hand written Thank You note from a medical practice (the physician)?

A recent encounter with a specialty practice went well….professional and accommodating.

The procedure went well….the Thank You note….a strong business and professional followup.

The Hard Part

 Customer > Choice > Sale

From Seth Godin:

That mattress company didn’t make the mattress.

And Amazon doesn’t make light bulbs.

There are countless factories vying to sell generic products to the companies that own the customer relationship. Perhaps 90% (sometimes 100%) of the profit goes to companies that make the sale, not the ones who actually made the product.

That’s because while they make the thing, they don’t do the work. The hard part is earning attention and trust. The hard part is helping someone make the choice. (There’s a difference between the hard part and the important part. Without the factory, there’s nothing to sell. Making it is important. But increasingly, it’s not the hard part.)

The Broadway producer makes a profit, the chorus member ekes out a living. Fair pay is related to the scarce work of engaging with the customer.

Either you’re doing the hard part or you’re left out of the transaction.


Nothing happens without the sale….whether home furnishings….scout cookies or passenger aircraft….the bakeries or factories could not be sustainable without the ultimate sale.

There is pride and satisfaction in helping someone make the choice….while the customer makes the final choice….it was our job to guide them to make that decision.

In some respects….it was which one do you like: A or B….and when would you like that delivered: today or tomorrow!

Best Business Books?


These are all excellent business books….whether the best is certainly subjective.

My best business authors: Tom Peters….Jim Collins….Oren Harari….Seth Godin.  Of course, Tom Peter’s and Bob Waterman’s….In Search of Excellence is the classic business book.

Best Leadership author: John Maxwell

News Roundup

October 2019

+ Where they now from Oct. 2014 –

+ Costco. 51M members/770 stores/$140B sales. Avg markup 11%/retail norm 25-50%. 3,700 SKUs/40K norm. 250,000 employees/150K FT). $21 avg hourly wage. (2X retail-Walmart avg.) 88% healthcare coverage. Shareholder value maximization be damned (but share price up 387% since 2000). – Tom Peters

+ A legend might return:

+ Non business trend:

+ Warren Buffett quotes:

+ Annoying business words:

+ World’s largest Starbucks:

+ Competition:



Two recent stories:

“Inadequate training, poor leadership and a lack of pilot proficiency are to blame for a deadly collision between a United States Marine Corps fighter jet and tanker aircraft off Japan, the Marines said this week.”

“There’s been a significant breakdown in the corporate governance at Blue Cross,” Causey said at a news conference, calling the actions of both Dr. Patrick Conway and the Blue Cross board “disturbing.”

This won’t be the last time there will be a breakdown in leadership….one would believe that there are lessons learned from both these incidents….after-all they are highly regarded organizations.

The Marine Corps event more than likely resulted in career-ending actions. In the case of the Blue Cross situation, the CEO resigned (or was asked to resign) today.