Mobile Everything

Stores on Wheels

First it was food trucks….now it’s trucks for everything. The west coast….primarily California has been a trendsetter in new ideas.

Building on the food truck concept….there is: 

Whether these truck concepts are sustainable….remains to be seen. Like any other business….the best ones will succed.

The real lesson here is that this is what makes business….business. Be Better – Be Different.

Not Entirely Correct

Pink’s Hot Dogs + B of A

Latest TV commercial from Bank of America –

Pink’s has been doing business with Bank of America for 71 years….that’s a stong financial relationship for both Pink’s and B of A.

What the ad doesn’t tell us is that the B of A of 71 years ago is not the same Bank of America of 2011.

The Bank of America from the past was a well respected bank that operated primarily on the west coast. It had excellent leadership and a fine reputation.

Today’s Bank of America….HQ in Charlotte, NC has neither the leadership or reputation. It is not one of the most respected businesses in America.

This may be B of A’s version of modern advertising methods….however it doesn’t tell the complete story.

Plastic Injection Molding

Ess Tech, Inc

Automobile parts are still a major manufacturing business in Western Michigan….only in 2011 its’ different from the 60s….70s….80s.

Ess Tech found a market in small injected molded parts that other injection molders were missing. Ess is a $10M business….nice yet still a small business.

Ess Tech and others like it grow manufacturing….being close to major customers means it can respond and adapt to customer requirements….with zero defects. The right model for any business.

While functional….the web site could use a makeover to reflect Ess Tech abilities….often small businesses miss this important part of the business.


Toasted ?

William Dunk:

 You’re Toast, we are told, means you are in trouble. To us it has always meant much more than that. Why, we are sure, it really means, “You are up a creek without a paddle!”  There’s no going back and there’s no going forward. You’ve lost. The game is up, and you might as well grin and bear it. This pretty much describes the situation in which Americans now find themselves.

Chris Gibbons:

I sense there is a powerful movement in the country that believes in entrepreneurs and their ability to right our floundering economic ship—and it is spreading to the highest levels of government and to rigorous academic research at top flight universities. My personal experience with emerging growth company CEOs is 180 degrees from the public perception of the “1%”. 

Two different points of view….Mr. Dunk pessimistic (or pragmatic?)….Chris Gibbons certainly more optimistic. From a national….world-wide perspective….national policy has to change….yet for most businesses that has to be done at a much higher level.

I tend to follow Chris in that we continue to have a strong entrepreneurial environment that encourages new businessess….that’s the free enterprise system.

Any good business has to have a positive outlook….if one direction doesn’t work….move to another…. always moving forward.

Don’t be Toast!


Sorry and ?

From a recently visited business: “sorry your product wasn’t up to snuff this time”

This was the response to feedback about the business’s product. Two important points missed by these folks:

1) It isn’t my (your) product….it’s their product. They are the ones that produced it….when did it automatically become mine?

2) Being sorry is fine….yet there is a next step in making it right. This is where many businesses fail to understand the next step. Make it right.

In the above example….the feedback was after the fact. The solution is easy….next time we’ll make it right to your satisfaction.

These folks have a nice business….just make it better….look at it from the customer’s perspective not from your own.


Poor Design-Poor Business Practice

I am continually surprised by the lack of contact information on business/organizations web sites. Some of the organizations have limited contact information….no names….no e-mail….no phone numbers. The only contact – “info@”.

On better sites….generous information….names….all contact information….some with photos to go along with people.

Doing business is still a one-to-one personal interaction. No matter how technology advances….great businesses are in the people business. Those organizations that fail to recognize that are simply ordinary. Whoever designs these web sites….has not learned what business really is all about.

Another Change

No  Teller

I walked into our credit union branch recently….and discovered a significant change….no tellers. A few weeks ago there were four windows with real live pleasant people waiting to transact business….now only teller machines.

I suppose these machines are more efficient or are supposed to be. I had to wait for the person behind the camera to appear on the screen….and it seemed the whole process was slower. There were at least seven folks in line waiting.

Our branch was probably the last to be converted to these “new” tellers. More efficient maybe….better customer service and personal contact probably not.