Business Savvy

A Shoemaker

From Business Insider: https://www.inc.com/alison-davis/what-a-simple-shoemaker-can-teach-you-about-busine.html

It is not only a product (making shoes) that counts in business.

” What Acuna does have is an acute sense of who his customers are and how to meet their needs.”

Understanding the market is a key to a successful business/organization….even more so is knowing the customer.

In our business, we knew we were not high-end or low-end….we were in the middle….that was the demographics of our area. Most of the other competitors knew that  also ….it was a very competitive market in the 60’s-70’s.

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World HQ

Kayaks

The recent announcement that the world’s largest kayak company is moving its headquarters to The Terrace Pointe building in downtown Muskegon was a nice boost to Muskegon.

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2017/08/kl_outdoor_to_have_first_downt.html#incart_river_index

Certainly not on the order of the Foxconn multi billion location in Wisconsin or a future Toyota plant. 

However, it is the headquarters for KL Outdoor/GSC and a good choice to be in the iconic pyramid building on Muskegon Lake. The Terrace Pointe building was formerly the HQ for SPX Corporation (Sealed Power)….now located in Charlotte, NC.

http://kloutdoor.com/

Disaster

Mismanagement

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/business/the-incredible-shrinking-sears.html

The tale of mismanagement of Sears and Kmart has been going on for quite some time….according to many experts it won’t be long before Sears files for bankruptcy and closure of many more if not all its stores.

There are several key points from the NY Times article:

  1. Financial manipulations are not the way to run any business.
  2. Retail businesses need to be run by retail people
  3. Visiting the corporate headquarters once a year is completely contrary to sound management principles.
  4. Divisions within a company should not be always be competing with each other. There should be an overall common purpose with every division working to achieve that goal.

Sears certainly faces many obstacles that other large retailers currently face….however it has not helped itself at all.

OODA Loop

Decision Making

From Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/ooda-loop-decision-making-2017-8

“Every single thing you do in your life, every decision you make, is an OODA Loop,” Berke told Business Insider. Being aware of its structure and how to best practice it, then, can give you an advantage in whatever field you may find yourself in, whether you’re in the office or in the skies.”

Making business decisions could be very easy or very difficult….sometimes it was just seat of the pants.

While studying decision-making may seem like an abstract idea….non-the-less any tool to help lead/manage a business/organization needs to be considered.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop

Curtis Lumber

127 Years Old

A business that has been in existence for four generations must be doing something right.

https://www.inc.com/partners-in-leadership/new-startups-have-nothing-on-this-127-year-old-family-owned-business.html

http://www.curtislumber.com/

The key point of the article was company culture – “It’s not unusual to walk into a Curtis Lumber retail location and speak with an employee who has worked for the company for 25 or 40 years. Retaining employees this long is a dream for businesses owners!”

The other key point and perhaps related to company culture is an extensive contact list with names….and email addresses.

“Curtis Lumber is dedicated to providing our customers with superior customer service. Please feel free to contact us with any comments or complaints you may have. The following e-mail addresses are now available and put you in touch directly with our salespeople as well as our corporate and executive offices. We are always appreciative of our customers’ input and will work with you to resolve any discrepancies you may have.”

Unfortunately most businesses don’t provide that level of contact….however most should!

Mattress in a Box

Evolutuion

We did an excellent job of selling bedding (mattresses/box springs). We had three primary brands….Serta, Restonic, and Richards of Grand Rapids. They all made good bedding….eventually Restonic became our better brand and Richards our medium brand.

However, the bedding industry is evolving with the Mattress-in-a-Box concept.

From Business Insider.com

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-online-mattress-companies-startups-casper-helix-leesa-2016-7

There are several companies that now sell the box mattress….even one with a spring/foam combination. While the mattress in a box is a good idea….there still is the need for a foundation and maybe something more than pieces of plywood.

A good foundation is just as important as the mattress….that is why we were very clear that the foundation was also innerspring just as the mattress (I.e. 312 coil mattress and 312 coil box spring). 

While the box mattress is innovative….there is a good case for a well-made innerspring and a well-made/designed box spring.

Midwest Express Comeback?

The Best Care in the Air

A recent article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel indicted an investor group is trying to resurrect Midwest Express.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2017/08/09/effort-underway-bring-back-midwest-express-airlines/552399001/

Midwest Express was flying as it should be….excellent seating….well prepared meals….and its famous chocolate chip cookies. For many years….we traveled between Michigan and North Carolina on Midwest.

Obviously, the air travel market is different from when Midwest operated….It would be nice if they could develop a market for that type of travel again.

The Best Care in the Air wasn’t just a marketing slogan….it was The Best Care in the Air.

http://www.flymidwestexpress.com/