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Straight Up

When you look at the earth from space, or even your city from an airplane, you can’t help but think how relatively small we really are in the scheme of things. Imagine if your office chair was able to blast off slowly like rocket at Cape Canaveral. As you slowly ascend you see your business below you. Then, as you get a little higher, you see other businesses and communities come into view. Soon you see your city, state, country,… Read More

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Is Your Company Doing these Things?

Recently, while attending a Wine Industry Symposium, I had the good fortune to sit next to a fellow consultant, James J. Downes of BBK, an international business advisory firm. Over lunch, the conversation quickly got down to what we each thought were the biggest mistakes growing businesses make today. Jim’s list sounded strangely familiar because my own company had been guilty of several!
Jim says according to… Read More

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Does Your Company Culture Give Rise to Great Ideas?

Some people think “culture” is what you get in your yogurt. So called “company culture” starts from the top and permeates throughout your organization. The attitudes, principles, philosophies and values of owners like you and your managers shape the decisions, actions, and motivation of your employees.
The morale of your people and the impressions of your vendors and customers are greatly impacted by your… Read More

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How to Build a Brand Without Advertising

Brand recognition is the life blood of any product that passes through distribution channels. Building your brand to the point of significant market share takes years, and conventional advertising can be financially infeasible, especially for new product manufacturers.
In today’s world, the public demands transparency. Your customers want to know what your company stands for besides the product you sell.… Read More

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What Does Your Brand Stand For?

Brands that stand for more than just their products have a huge advantage in this era of increasing transparency. It’s not enough to have the best product at the most popular price any more, and excellent customer service is only the beginning.
Now, more than ever, people realize that they can vote with their money. They know the world they live in is a direct result of the purchases they have made so far, and that they can… Read More

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How To Get Your Product To The Market

You may have a great product at a great price, and people may really want it, but that doesn’t mean you can get it to them. If your product is sold in retail stores, like most consumer goods, it probably has to go through conventional distribution channels. In order to get to the end-user, you must customize your pitch to everyone along the way. You must make all of the seven sales. They are:

Your Own Staff. Both your sales… Read More

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How to Start a Business with No Knowledge of the Industry

Sometimes opportunity lands in your lap, but opportunity can be time sensitive, so sometimes you’ll have to act fast, even if it’s in an unfamiliar industry. Today the web is filled with information on every industry, but the learning curve can feel like hitting a brick wall at 60 m.p.h. But there are folks who can help you overcome the education barrier. Here are some ways to get their help:

Hire the Industry Veterans:… Read More

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7 Tips to Attract and Keep Good People

Your people are your most valuable asset. When you are a start-up, they are critical. They represent your company to your customers, vendors and your associates. When your people interact well with each other, they will make your workplace productive and satisfying on many levels.
Remember, most top producers aren’t found, they’re made. Most often, you create top producers with positive culture, mentoring… Read More

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10 Tips to For a Start-Up Business with No Money

OK, you need some money to get started, but you can seriously reduce the amount if you take advantage of some of these suggestions. Every one of them worked for us:

Start in the garage, a spare bedroom, even the laundry room the way we did. Go anywhere you won’t have to pay rent.
Get your family to help. Retired grandmas, aunts and uncles would love to make a difference in your life, and they’ll probably be thrilled to do… Read More

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3 Tips for Start-up Producers

As much as you may love your product and know that everyone else will love it too, you still need to master these three essentials to survive and grow.
1) Cash Flow Management
Reduce your costs by how you buy. Extend your credit by how you pay. Get paid faster by how you sell. Here are a few suggestions:

Treat your vendors like you treat your customers. They can cut your costs and extend your credit. Sell them on your product and… Read More

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