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B2B or Not to Be? That is the Question!

We often hear, “Oh, we’re B2B (business-to-business), so we don’t have to worry about customers at the general public level.” The fact is, you do.
It is an erroneous assumption that B2B is somehow insulated from the source of most income, the general public. If your client goes out of business, your B2B loses that account, and you lose an income source. Of course you need to worry!
The more your company understands… Read More

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A Solid Business Foundation is Necessary for Success

When you build a house, the foundation must be laid strong and straight. If it’s not, the framers try to make up for it. When they can’t, the drywall guys try to make up for it. When they can’t, the painters try to make up for it. When they can’t, you’re going to have to live with it. So rather than cause problems all the way up your structure, lay your foundations straight and true.
It’s been said that it’s not the… Read More

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Improve Your Chances of Success by Starting Small and Carefully

As long as your product is not in a specific market or retailer, it can’t be discontinued. Once you are discontinued you may never get back. You’ve got one shot. Take careful aim and hit just one bullseye at a time.
The shotgun approach may get you more distribution in the beginning, but, due to complications and idiosyncrasies in the distribution system, or due to you own underestimations of labor and oversight, your… Read More

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Winning Distribution Strategies

Title: Winning Distribution Strategies
Location: Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Successful brand building hinges on diligent management of the 3-tiered distribution channel and appealing to customers at all levels. Houlihan and Jones bring extensive street smarts and proven techniques to attract trade partners and cement their loyalty. This course is designed for owners, national sales managers… Read More

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The Advantages of Being a Small Start-Up – Part 2

This is the second installment in a four-part series designed to encourage small start-ups by recognizing some of their inherent advantages.
Small start-ups face a myriad of challenges. They are undercapitalized, unproven and have no market traction. They are up against the status quo that will use its established power and influence in the marketplace to suppress any new challengers. Buyers are reticent to take… Read More

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Dress for Success (Especially in the Office)

Many companies these days seem to think that they are giving their office staff some kind of a benefit by letting them dress any way they want. Business casual has become casual and casual has become downright scruffy. What happens when Mr. Big walks into your company and your people are dressed in a way that doesn’t telegraph customer service and professionalism? Before you can say anything, your new client has made… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 3

This is the third part in the series about the original Barefoot culture. Culture really sets the tone, boundaries, and expectations the team has toward your company, your mission and your product.
We’ve saved the best for last because having a common cause and a common challenge forges, more than any other single factor, positive company culture.
When you are growing especially a new a brand, something… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 2

A company survives and grows due to sales and the loyalty of customers and staff. Sales are based on price, value, dependability, integrity, availability and perception. The basis of perception is image, networking, and more recently, the transparency of the producer.
Transparency is what the brand stands for, its authenticity, its identification with higher values, and the actions it takes to demonstrate those… Read More

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Listen to and Learn from your Sales Staff

 

In the previous post we examined some of the ways your well-meaning office, marketing, production and accounting staff may come up with “cost-saving” suggestions than can actually hurt sales. 
When little things go missing or the package gets simplified in the name of production efficiency, you may hear “It hasn’t affected sales”…yet! Or, “Our sales are still strong” implying all you were doing… Read More

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Beware of “Money Saving” Suggestions from Your Non-Sales Staff

 Let’s start by realizing that there are really only two divisions in every company, Sales and Sales Support. Since Sales Support includes everyone not in Sales, Sales Support consists of Production, Accounting, Marketing, and so on. Without sales there is simply no money for Sales Support salaries. Still, Sales needs Sales Support to perform. 
The Sales people are doing their job out in the field. The non-sales… Read More

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