Wall Street

Complicated Finance

Wall Street finance is way too complicated for most people.

From:

http://www.globalprovince.com/letters/2012-08-22.htm

“The Big Short. And the bankers of all stripes—commercial, investment, private equity—have gone astray and run us over a cliff. The citizen who wants to understand this need only read Michael Lewis’s The Big Short.There one can inspect a financial system that is rotten at the core. Products that were clearly worthless were foisted on investors. Bundles of flawed mortgages, which would never get paid, were repackaged as bonds and then peddled to institutions and investors alike. Earnings from structured finance became so big a part of Wall Street profits that the firms in lower Manhattan, as well as in midtown, would have shriveled up without sales of the totally hollow products ginned up around housing. It is hard to have a healthy society when such a huge part of it—the financial community—is living a lie.”

Hedge funds….structured finance….etc. impact all businesses regardless of size….unfortunately most businesses don’t have that intimate knowledge of Wall Street finance.

The lesson from the financial missteps….be astute in managing a business finances.

Business Today

Start with Ideas

Being in business is a great challenge….yet also with great rewards.

We grew our family business during some uncertain economic times….and in a very competitive environment. We had good business acumen….with stong people skills….absolutely necessary in the retail business.

If in 1978….we were to grow even further….we needed new ideas to carry the business on to the next level and become a major competitor in the marketplace.

We needed to strengthen the foundation of the business in order for the business to grow and expand.

How to do that? With new ideas. To due that….I would have studied these folks and executed their ideas into the building blocks of our business. Starting with:

  • Tom Peters –  “Search for Excellence”  
  • Oren Harari – “Leapfrogging the Competition”
  • Jim Collins – “Good to Great”
  • Peter Drucker – “The Practice of Management”

Of course none of these authors….except Peter Drucker….were published in the early 70’s. Yet….with 20/20 hindsight this is where I would start to build a great business.

Tailor-Made

Cosmetics

From The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

A new Internet startup – Wantable.co….customized cosmetics.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/internet-entrepreneur-is-ready-to-match-women-with-just-the-right-cosmetics-nc6h9ra-166621886.html

Cosmetics is a huge industry….the cosmetics department is front and center in every large department store….and very profitable.

Wantable is an e-commerce company that will develop style profiles for women, and then present them with cosmetic packages tailored to their look.

A customer  fills out a survey about her preferences and, based on the responses, is put into a style category such as “Rock Rebel” or “Top Trend Setter.” She is then offered a customized box containing seven full-size cosmetic products for $40.

The founder has a good track record in e-commerce….will it become another multi-million dollar comapny?….remains to be seen. The article indicates a Facebook entry point….which may or may not work.

The real story – entrepreneurs create businesses.

Mint Market

Market to Table

From the N&O:

A Durham, NC startup is trying to make it easier for restaurant chefs to buy local food. Mint Market launched on July 29 as an online marketplace for chefs to buy locally grown produce. Mint Market’s model is an online farmers market….but for wholesale.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/08/19/2276097/durham-startup-the-mint-market.html

How it works is quite simple: Farmers list their products on Mint Market….chefs buy on Sunday….produce is harvested on Monday….and delivered on Tuesday.

The Internet continues to offer unlimited opportunities for business startups. Mint Market seems like a great idea. The reaction so far – “Why hasn’t someone done this before?”

www.mintmarket.com

Hot Rods

Bo’s Hot Rods and Restorations

Sanford is 30 miles down US 1 and the home of Bo’s Hot Rods. While only a short drive from the RDU area….Sanford retains much of a less hectic place….though it has some nice manufacturing companies in the area.

What is often overlooked are businesses like Bo’s Hot Rod Shop that have found a selective market and provide a quality product. That ‘s what makes a business successful.

http://www.boshotrodshop.com/

Inconsistent

Missing the Target

A recent review of a new restaurant by the N&O food columinist….”Urban Food Group (UFG) is without question one of the most successful  restaurant groups in the triangle.”

The review of the UFG’s latest restaurant was generally good except….for service which the reviewer called….inconsistent.

Another comment….” Such attention to detail is another UFG hallmark, and no doubt a key to the success of its restaurants”.

Service is a key part of a restaurant or any business….this is a detail that missed the target….at least at the reviewed venue.

AeroVision, International

Aviation @ MKG

I’m always intrigued by aviation businessess….especially when they are headquartered in Muskegon, MI (MKG). Aero Vision specializes in turbine engines and components.

Muskegon county is also the home for Howmet/Alcoa….the leading manufacturer of turbine blades. So it may be logical for AeroVision to be located at MKG.

Businesses like AeroVison are the strength of local economies….yet often out of the limelight.

Plus for AeroVision….a great contact page….it personalizes the company. 

www.aerovi.com