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Why Worthy Cause Marketing Works

We are often asked, “What’s the difference between ‘Cause’ Marketing and ‘Worthy Cause’ Marketing?” The most obvious difference is the intention of the marketing. With Cause Marketing, the emphasis seems to be on creating an image that your company is sponsoring a particular non-profit. The intention is to show the general public that you are helping a cause that everyone agrees is beneficial. Many… Read More

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The Barefoot Spirit Defined

Many people have asked us, “What are you guys selling, exactly?” We are no longer selling wine. Now we sell books, speaking engagements, and consulting services, and what we really have to offer is an idea. We call it, “the barefoot spirit.”
Simply stated, the barefoot spirit is a set of guiding principles that steer you toward the right decisions in every aspect of business. It’s the delicate balance between… Read More

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Women’s Equality in the Workplace is Just Good Business!

Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo COO, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, is the founder of the Lean In Movement. She was the keynote speaker at the Professional Business Women of California conference in San Francisco this week. More than 4000 business and professional women came to hear her remarks on the current status of women in the workplace. She points out that there has been virtually no progress in the past… Read More

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Can You Go From Selling Wine to Selling The American Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Today there is more interest in entrepreneurship than ever before. Half of the college grads are facing self-employment, as perhaps their only opportunity for employment. But are they prepared? It takes a lot more than book knowledge, a good business plan, and fancy four-syllable words to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Many middle managers saw their jobs disappear during the recession, never to return.… Read More

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Happy Birthday Barefoot!

Twenty-seven years ago, Barefoot Wines were bottled for the first time. But how the wine found its way to the bottling line was a fluke in itself. A farmer wasn’t getting paid for several years for his grapes and his friends went to bat for him to see how much they could collect. It wasn’t easy. The winery owing for the grapes had no money and was in bankruptcy. It was controlled by the secured creditors (other farmers who… Read More

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Why Being an Outsider and Undercapitalized can be Your Strongest Assets

Sometimes what you don’t have can be a true blessing. When we speak to aspiring entrepreneurs and students hoping to start their own businesses, they often tell us that they are afraid of being under capitalized and not knowing enough about their industry.
They have been taught that in order to start a new business, they need to write a detailed business plan and get it financed. They have been encouraged to stay in an… Read More

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Build Your Business using Guiding Principles – Part 3

The salespeople who call on your business have much more to offer than the products and services they represent. They are a gold mine of information and are in a position to significantly help your business.
In this series, we have examined the guiding principles that were instrumental to our success in the belief that they will be valuable to you in your business as well. The questions we ask put you in the other guy’s… Read More

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Build Your Business using Guiding Principles – Part 2

Ever wonder what goes through a creditor’s mind when they decide whether or not to give you credit? Creditors, like suppliers, vendors, and bankers who extend credit to you, are a bit anxious and for good reason. They don’t know how you’ll behave when times are tough. They don’t know if you will be a “beg pay” or worse. On the other hand, they want to increase their business with you, so they hope you will succeed… Read More

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Build Your Business using Guiding Principles – Part 1

Our grandparents called it “The Golden Rule.” Our parents told us to “Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes.” We call it “How would you like it?” But it’s all the same concept of fair play. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced, highly competitive business environment, this basic idea can get lost.
Starting a business feels overwhelming. It seems like there’s never enough money, time, or resources to… Read More

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Vineyard & Winery Management Article

Linda Murphy talked with Michael about the story of Barefoot Wine, including the challenges, successes, and lessons learned along the way. It’s all here in the January/February issue of Vineyard & Winery Management.
 
 
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