Down Under

Byron Bay Coffee

Coffee is found world wide….even in Byron Bay, Australia (pop.5,000).

Byron Bay Coffee (BBC) is another find in discovering unique businesses. Started in 1989….Byron Bay has won 73 awards for its gourmet coffee. As Byron Bay (the town) is rather small….BBC also has a strong internet presence….shipping their products throughout southeast Asia.

For businesses like Byron Bay Coffee….excellent web site development is key to their success.

The take-a-way: Even on Australia’s east coast….in a small town….there are well-run and successful companies.

Thank You + Data Base

Not Enough

The Power of Thank You and The Power of Data.

There is nothing more important in the sales process than a sincere Thank You….especially in high dollar transactions. Sure there is a verbal thank you and often an email thank you….yet a real  professional uses a hand-written thank you. The Hallmark notes above are heavy card stock….when handwritten….very professional.

In our family business….the data base was 3×5 note cards!….long before the PC and data base software. We did use the note cards in mailings. Direct mail was a strong marketing strategy.

Looking back….I would have used the Thank You on every sales….large or small. The time and cost would have been minimal and the benefits maximized.

It would have very nice to have a PC data base program….again benefits of a solid data base file even on file cards….would have created a valuable customer base.

Both were key marketing tools….we could have done better.

Aviation Milestone

The iPad

United/Continental airlines announced that it is providing 11,000 iPads to its flight crews. The iPads will replace paper manuals, charts, logbooks used by the United/Continental pilots.

Previously pilots carried flight bags full of paper manuals, airways-airport charts….almost 38 pounds of paper. The flight bag use to be somewhat of a status symbol….no longer!

The iPad is certainly changing technology and a milestone change in commercial aviation. Immediate updates are now downloaded almost instantaneously.

The take-a-way: new technology = new opportunities


Learning Strategy

I have read numerous business books. Lately there has been a lack of “good” books. While there are still many being published….the good authors have been few and far between.

Tom Peters more than likely has written his last book. Oren Harari passed away in 2010. Seth Godin is still a prolific writer.

There are authors and there are excellent authors. The challenge is to separate the excellent from the good….there are still way too many books.

Peter’s and Harari’s titles are still excellent books to read. Reading excellent books is a sound learning strategy.

Sinclair Oil


This week has seen wide swings in the stock market. There is a poor indicator….a bad earnings report….a country is highly debt leveraged….any negative news will suffice.

The news media is prone to use bold headlines….strong words to describe the latest “tumble”.

I recall clearly the primary investment course in the Michigan MBA school….and the course was “investing” not trading. My company for that courses was Sinclair Oil….a prominent oil producer….refiner….retailer at that time (1967).

The course required a case study of Sinclair Oil….the financials….the management….the market. I don’t remember my recommendation of Sinclair.

What I do remember is that investing requires a thorough analysis of the company (or mutual fund now) and investment decisions are based on the long-term strength of the company (Sinclair Oil in my case).

Investing is simply that….not trading. Investing for the most part has to ignore the day-to-day, week-to-week swings in the market or even more so how dramatic the news is that day.

Schussler Creative


There are hundreds of unique businesses….the quest continues to find them.

Schussler Creative in Golden Valley, MN is one of them. Schussler specializes in creation and consultation of restaurants….retail….attraction….and entertainment venues. Certainly a specialized and unique business.

A expertly done web site exemplifies the firms creative business.

The take-a-way. Differentiate your business.

Doing Business

Moving Forward

For a few days last week the stock market experienced large fluctuations.

The media gets carried away in the frenzy of the moment. While it is important to have accurate reporting….news reports can create unwanted disarray.

Businesses have to keep moving forward….and not be overly influenced by the latest news.

Our focus in business was to keep doing what we were doing….and get better at it. We were in business for the long haul and not just to open the door that day and hope that nothing extreme was going to happen.

Move Forward-Get Better-Good Business

Note From MI….a nice example of continuing to move forward.