Price > Value > Benefit

From Seth Godin:

“When you ring a bell for your clients, you’ve delivered with care and empathy. But when you seek to wring every dollar out of a transaction, you’ve probably engaged for the last time.”


“Price is unrelated, except for one thing: Charge enough that you can afford to actually keep your promise. The thrill of a low price disappears quickly, but the pain of a broken promise lasts a very long time.”

Pricing was always a careful decision in our business….though often it was the standard markup plus freight. However, competition also created another factor in determining price. While some of our brands were in other stores….we tried to have some that were unique to us….though it was difficult to have an exclusive line for a business our size.

On larger sales, we took a smaller markup. Carpet was always a challenge to achieve an acceptable markup….it seems the installation always was higher than estimated. 

While sensitive to pricing….our goal was to give value and benefit for the price quoted. I would think that is what we did over the life of the business.


Eleven #1’s

Tom Peters

Tom Peters in his latest book, The Excellence Dividend outlines these eleven number 1 traits.

They all need to be incorporated in a company’s culture. The challenge of course, is that there may be a few folks that don’t embrace this style.

That is why it’s vitally important to get the right people on the right bus….all going in the same direction. That’s what good leaders do.

While these #1’s were not explicit 40 years ago….we were pretty much on track with most of them (nice to look back in hindsight).

Business Aircraft

Used Properly

The new CEC of Cree made the following statement: “We don’t use a corporate jet anymore,” he says. “A corporate jet is a symbol of, ‘some people get to use it and some people didn’t get to use it.’”

Underlying the story is an effort by the new CEO to change the culture at Cree (there is no mention in the article of what exactly was the past culture and what is the new culture).

Business aircraft are an important tool for many companies. They are also expensive to operate. When used by only a select few….then they are excessive. Perhaps at this time….Cree does not have the need for the Falcon 900. One of the key assessments in acquiring a corporate aircraft is that it fit the company’s mission requirements.

A business jet does not have to be a “symbol”….it can be an effective business tool when used properly.


Wrong Bus

From Seth Godin

“Your first mistake was getting on the A53 bus, the one that goes crosstown instead of to where you’re going.

Mistakes like this happen all the time.

The big mistake, though, the one that will cost you, is staying on that bus.

I know it wasn’t easy to get on the bus. I know you got a seat. I know it’s getting dark outside. But you’re on the wrong bus, and staying on the wrong bus won’t make it the right bus.

If you really want to get where you set out to go, you’re going to have to get off the wrong bus.” (8.4.18)

Sometimes a company/business is on the wrong bus….the difficulty is getting off that bus.

There are businesses that:

  • Remain the same for decades
  • Remain the same….yet adapt
  • Completely reinvent themselves

At times it is not easy to get off the wrong bus….however it must be done. That’s simply good business acumen.


Madcap Coffee

10th Anniversary

Madcap Coffee in Grand Rapids recently celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a tribute to their suppliers.

Madcap Coffee has three locations in Grand Rapids in addition to its on-line business. One of the more interesting aspects of coffee roasting and sales is that these businesses are successful in a Starbucks environment. 

The reasons:

  • Good products
  • Good locations
  • Good customer interactions   

And commitment to excellence.

The basics for any business.


Leadership #1

MBWA. MBWA. MBWA. (Talking with v.v. successful Head of School last night. Not met before. As I approached him, he pointed at me and said, “MBWA.” Followed by, “Why do so few get it?” Long convo ensued. He called it de facto “leadership success ‘secret’ #1.” So why do so few …) – Tom Peters

MBWA is a fundamental lesson from “Search of Excellence”. I wonder if it is taught at business schools….perhaps some might find it too simple a concept.

At one company, I was out in the plant as much as I was up front. In some respects….MBWA is intuitive in being a good manager.



The News And Observer restaurant critic wrote a recent review for Herons Restaurant at the Umstead Hotel in Cary.

The review was 5 star and quite expressive. Certainly for some….Herons is not a ordinary restaurant.

Of course the food was the star attraction….however what made it the star was the professionalism of the wait staff.

“Either way, the experience will be marked by service that lives up to the food and the elegant contemporary setting. And while the waitstaff are thoroughly trained and polished to the point of simultaneous serving of plates and removing crumbs from the table between courses, they’re warmly welcoming and adept at attuning their demeanor to the mood of the table.”

“Service: impeccable”

Service professionalism is one all important element in achieving a 5 star review.

News Roundup

July 2018

+  Where are they now from July 2013

+ Car vending machine in Raleigh:

+ At the end of the day business is all about people. – Tom Peters

+ Happy customers….great service:

+ The best plane Boeing has built:

+ Reinventing Ford:

+ The future of the MBA:

+ Rolex watches: