Business Plan


I was asked to review a business plan. No problem….I have a pretty good idea of what a good plan should look like –

  • A clear, well-defined purpose
  • Reasonable financial projections
  • Realistic/pragmatic ideas
  • Substantive and succinct

The plan I reviewed had none of the above. The financials were mere gusesses….the ideas were haphazzard….the writing mediocre.

My conclusion…this plan had little relevance to the original purpose of even creating a plan. Of course I was only one of several folks to review this plan….perhaps they had a different perspective.

The idea behind this business plan is important for this organization….it’s important they get it right.


Fitzjohn Coach

A Legacy

Muskegon had some unique industries….one being the Fitzjohn Coach Company.

I recall the plant in Muskegon. There were numerous bus/coach manufacturers during this era….as riding the bus was a major form (along with the railroads) of transportation.

Other than design….bus manufacturing was straight forward – body sheet metal….engines….frames….interior components were more than likely outsourced. The assembly was the major function.

Fitzjohn closed in 1958….yet left its legacy in Muskegon’s manufacturing history.

John’s Drive In

40 Years

The August 2017 issue of Our State had a feature story on Hole-in-the-Wall food joints. John’s Drive-In in Kitty Hawk, NC was one of them.

Businesses like Johns exist for 40 years because they do many things right but more so as the article points out:

“No one would come keep coming if we didn’t take care of them” 

Taking care of customers….not too difficult….but a challenge for some.


Marketing Miscue

The above advertisement appeared in todays N&O. It’s only Nov. 3 and this marketing strategy is just the beginning of this poorly conceived sale concept.

If this is the best strategy that Renewal by Anderson came create….it might be wise for a revisit to Marketing 101.

Widely Variable

Restaurant Review

Restaurants play a major role in the business community. Like any other business….there are products….service….pricing…. management….etc. that are necessary for a successful restaurant.

The N&O has a food section that reviews new restaurants (and some more established). This weeks review was of a Raleigh restaurant that has reinvented itself. The restaurant earned three stars….which is above average.

However, the review also indicated the noise level was moderate to high and service widely variable. The answer to  widely variable service has been – that service (wait) persons are hard to find and wait staff is not full-time.

I’ve written before about this subject. It just makes good business sense that if businesses invest in a restaurant….which in many cases is sizable, why not invest in training and managing the service staff….after all isn’t “excellent” (four stars) the objective for this restaurant. If not it should be.

Further if this business expects to be a success….at least reduce the noise level to moderate.

The life span of many restaurants is quite short….don’t do things to hasten their demise.

News Roundup

October 2017

+ Where are they now from October 2012:

+ Tom Peters – Thinkers 50:

+ Effective management is highest human achievement. It is 100% about championing and supporting the growth of your fellow human beings. – Tom Peters

+ Amazon brand impact:

+ Behind the scenes at SAS:

+ Great Lakes growth engine:

+ Electric auto impact on the car insurance industry:

+ Sears – Whirlpool:



Sunnyland Farms

This is the catalog season and right on time is this years Sunnyland Farms (SF) catalog arriving in late October.

Sunnyland Farms, Albany, GA is comprised of 1,760 acres with 1,320 acres in pecan trees.

What makes this catalog (and business) effective is the star product – “mammoth pecan haves”….and the story of the business with numerous photos of the people who work at Sunnyland Farms.

Additionally in today’s market….it’s necessary that shipping is free and there is a strong product guarantee.

The SF business is third-generation family owned beginning its 69th year. Businesses that have great products and good customer service generate long-term success.