Welcome.

America’s economic strength has always been reliant on start-up businesses and small entrepreneurs for new products, job creation, and the development of new brands. This site is dedicated to those Americans who, by choice or necessity, become self-employed and start their own business.

Here you will find the business philosophies and guiding principles we learned over several decades of success with new ventures. They are presented in summary fashion in our Business Blog. More detail can be found in our Speaking Topics, Group Seminars, and Consulting Services.

We are also writing a book, “The Barefoot Spirit,” which chronicles the experiences and business lessons learned building the Barefoot Wine brand.

Since one of our business philosophies is to have fun, we will include a personal blog and some photos. We will add videos and interviews with like-minded business leaders going forward.

The Easiest Way to Lose your Customer

Right After you make the First Sale

If you think all you’re selling is a product, think again. In order to continue to do business with your new buyer, you must also sell a service. The demand for customer service increases significantly after the first sale is made. That’s when your customer sees if you stand behind your products, and how you treat their company. Here are some suggestions to forge that critical relationship that will pay off with return… Read More

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The 8 Principles of Successful Outsourcing

Outsource Everything but Quality, Sales and Customer Service

For the most part, there is usually no shortage of products. There is, however, a big shortage of Purchase Orders. Why tie up precious dollars in bricks and mortar when you really need to spend them on marketing and merchandising? It’s possible, and in many cases preferable, to outsource as much production and services as you can. This gives you the time and funds required to control quality, give good customer service,… Read More

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Follow Up or Foul Up

10 Ways to Get Results

Today most people are so busy they shudder at anything new coming across their desks. If they can say no, get back to you later, or send you to someone else, they can get back to whatever they were doing before you “interrupted” them. Here are 10 ways to get results in an overworked and often unconcerned world:

“I’ve got a call in” is never a resolution. When your people tell you that, it means that they think somehow… Read More

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Straight Up

The Fastest Way Out of the Box

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?

The 10 Big “No-No’s”

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?

The 4 Pillars of a Positive Company Culture

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

The 7 Steps of Worthy Cause Marketing

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?

Give Your Brand a Soul.

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

The Seven Sales

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

Flying Blind

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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