Do Something

Action = Energy

It is easy slack off….particularily after a long year….busy week (or a week of slow activity).

In the businesses I have been in….the action we always took….was to:

Do Something Now!

Whether cleaning up….rearranging displays….developing a new marketing startegy….refining our manufacturing process….or simply clearing off the desk.

Doing something provides the energy for moving forward.

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Changing World

Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling, a Swedish researcher, is also an entertaining presenter….especially when the presentation involves statistics.

“Rosling co-founded the Gapminder Foundation together with his son Ola Rosling and daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund. Gapminder developed the Trendalyzer software that converts international statistics into moving, interactive and enjoyable graphics.”

This ‘You Tube” link is a noteworthy explanation of the change taking place in world economies and standards of living.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo&feature=player_embedded

Why is it important?

Because other parts of the world are gaining in buying power which in turn impacts on every business/organization….no matter where they are located. We need to know what’s evolving in a global world.

www.gapminder.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Rosling

Klingman’s

 End of Life Cycle

Klingman’s, Grand Rapids, MI, was a fixture in the high-end furniture business. After 114 years it is now gone.

Some businesses have long lives others short ones. The question is always: Why after 114 years….does a business finally shut down?

In Kingman’s case….I suspect the market no longer existed for very high-end furniture in Western Michigan. Along with a move to a different location….maybe new management….Klingman’s could no longer survive. That’s not to say that high-end furniture doesn’t have a market….it’s just not as large as it was in the past.

Businesses have to adapt….some can….some don’t and for some they don’t have to. That’s why manageing and running an enterprise can be as challenging as rocket science.

Lifetime Sales

Not just $25,000 but $250,000

I recall a story about a Cadillac dealer in Dallas, TX. In the past, Cadillacs were the top of the line automobiles. The General Motors strategy was to start people in a Chevrolet and through the years they would buy a Buick or Oldsmobile than eventually a Cadillac.

Most automobile dealors….especially in the 60’s/70’s were mostly interested in selling as many cars as possible….times were good.

The Dallas Cadillac dealer took a different approach….sell the customer a life time of Cadillacs. His strategy was; not to sell one vehicle at $25,000 but 10 vehicles over the lifetime of the customer for $250,000. He was more focused on the customer than the car itself….makes sense….since the next sales are easier than the first.

Once we (in our home furnishings business) sold a customer….delivered  on our products and service….future sales were much more likely.

The end result: Customers for a Lifetime. 

SoundOff Signal

A Growing (and Great) Business

It’s a good sign to discover companies that do well….especially smaller locally-owned companies. SoundOff Sigal is one of them….located in Hudsonville, MI.

What makes enterprises like SoundOff extraordinary is the ability to do well in challenging times. SoundOff has continued to grow by developing new products and giving exceptional service.

Perhaps a key part of success is that SoundOff is an ESOP county with 30% of the stock owned by the employees, When the people who do the day-to-day tasks also have an ownership stake….it creates a different culture that is more than what they do is “just a job”. 

Nice touches : On their contact page….names….phone numbers….email addresses of real peopel. Plus a strong product warranty/guarantee.

www.soundoffsignal.com

Contact

A Future Listing

We bought our home in 1988. Gail was the real estate agent….since that time on every birthday we have received a card from Gail.

So for the past 22 years….Gail has invested perhaps $130 of her marketing dollars in mailings to us. When the time comes our real estate agent will be Gail.

If this were done for all of her clients, both buyers and sellers….than a relatively small investment gives the potential for larger commissions….just like insurance residuals.

Simply maintaining contact is a smart business strategy in creating a long-term customer relationship.

The Amazing Race

It’s The Team

I’m a fan of The Amazing Race….first to see other parts of the world….more so to see how people work together to reach a common goal. Working together as a team were Nat and Kat in Amazing Race 17.

Of all of the wining teams….Nat and Kat worked the best together….they were a real team complementing each other to win the $1,000,000 prize.

“Nat: I definitely think one of the keys to our mutual success is respect. Kat and I both really believe in each other and we behaved as a team the whole time. There was never a moment where it was just Nat or just Kat. We were Nat and Kat the entire race and I think that really led to success.”

There are often business terms that get tossed around and overused….teams may be one of them. Yet, Nat and Kat did work as a team.

Besides winning….this Amazing Race shows that teams really work….when the members understand what it means to be a team member.

From the : 

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/12/nat-and-kats-secrets-to-winning-the-amazing-race.html