Chrysler

Doing OK

Chrysler reported 1st quarter earnings of $400+ million. That’s good for Chrysler as it was the one manufacture that seemed about ready to shut down a few years ago.

Up until now,  the Chrysler brand has performed poorly. That was not always the case. Our first new car was a 1964 Dodge Dart….bought for $2300….in Rialto, CA (just like the photo). Later we had a Dodge 440….well engineered….not too stylish.

The resurgence of Chrysler is attributed to an investment by Fiat….better management….and leadership by CEO Sergio Marchione.

Marchione said: “It took a fearless team to bring back such a remarkable result.”

A good lesson for any business/organization.

Of Note: Chrysler is bringing back the “Dart”….2013 model!

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

Follow Through

Often Difficult

Execution is a vital part of business….as well as follow through. Yet the follow though element is often difficult.

Example 1: We stopped at a small garden nursery….inquiring about some landscape plants….it could be a nice order for the sole owner. Our name….address….phone number taken. Yet, no follow through from this small business. An owner that does everything is very busy….the issue is if one is unable to follow through….significant business can be lost. Not just one purchase….others after that.

Example 2: Perhaps extreme….on one of the home channels….a person had searched for several years finding the right house. The realtor commented they must have looked at over 250 homes for sale. Finally the buyer made a decision. In this case, the realtor followed through all these years to finally complete the sale. Most people would not have persisted for this length of time.

Did we follow through in our family business? Not as much as we should have. I suspect that 9 out of 10 follow throughs would have not resulted in a sale. Yet….only a phone call follow through would have resulted in that one extra sale. We should have had a better follow through system in place.

Winston Churchill

Famous Words

Winston Churchill’s famous words from WW II….and also an important life….business lesson.

On this past Sundays’s Amazing Race….the last team took multiple attempts to perform the task….the task was especially difficult for one of the team members. During the attempts….there was always the question of giving up and leaving the race.

The interesting part of this Amazing Race episode was that the team didn’t give up. On the 12 th attempt they passed. Of course they were way behind the other teams. Yet, when they reached the finish point….they found out they were still in the race….this was a non-elimination pit stop. If they had quit….they would have certainly been eliminated.

They didn’t give up!

It’s not so easy in businesses/organizations to know when to move on. We don’t like to give up. If England had given up….the course of WW II would have been significantly different.

One lesson though….and Winston Churchill is of course the best example….if the right leaders and team are in place….

Never, never, never give up.

Drive-Thru

Subway

Drive-thru restaurants have been on the scene for years….McDonald’s being the model for the drive-thru business. Though Starbucks can’t be far behind.

Most Subways have been walk-in locations. Now according to a recent story about the Subway franchise in West Michigan….new locations will incorporate drive-thrus.

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/04/the_muskegon_lakeside_subway_s.html#incart_river_default

I know where GNS has its first location….and have had a sub there. For a franchisee….they did a good job.

The real story is how GNS grew from a small grocery store….Gov’s Market….and taking a chance on a Subway franchise in 1988.

http://www.subway3004.com/GNSSubwayInfo.html

Review

Improve

The internet has made choices easier and also difficult. Every business/organization can be quickly reviewed and rated. The challenge of course is to be certain the reviews are accurate and objective.

A large local medical practice has some negative reviews. It wasn’t so much about the medical care….as it was the interaction between the staff and patients. One bad review could be just that….yet several unfavorable reviews on the same subject should cause concern.

One negative review can be remedied….several….require calls for action by the practice administrator and/or the physicians.

There is instant information available….improve your business….make it excellent.

Slowness to Change

Best Buy

Recent stories have related to the departure of the CEO….with a 30-year career at Best Buy.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-12/the-future-retail-wasteland

The CEO left because of personal conduct….yet the story relates to Best Buy being slow to change. The business has become stagnant….the latest quarterly loss….$1.7B.

There are other alternatives to Best Buy….Amazon….E-Bay….Apple stores. All make it easier to buy. Although annual sales are $50B….often large businesses get stuck in what they do and can’t react to changing markets.

If leaderships gets distracted….the train quickly gets off track.

Quantity

Fresh Market

A recent and very occasional trip to Fresh Market on a Saturday morning….wondering if there can be too much (quantity) of good (quality) stuff.

Fresh Market:

  • is an upscale store….in the Whole Foods market segment
  • moved to larger site….about 50% larger than previously
  • had few customers at 10:30 on a Saturday morning ….a busy day in Cary 
  • has quality products….and is priced accordingly
  • stocks a large variety of items….in large quantities

The question: Can too much be over whelming? Can the market support the size of the store without creating perishable overstock?

Often less is more….too many choices makes it difficult to buy.

www.freshmarket.com