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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.

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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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. [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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7 Tips to Attract and Keep Good People

Build a Team

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, [...]

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

The advantages of being broke with a good idea

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 [...]

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3 Tips for Start-up Producers

Essentials to Survive and Grow

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 [...]

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“The Thank You Economy”

On Tuesday we had the pleasure of attending Gary Vaynerchuk’s book signing in Marin County. He champions a classic message for a new generation and a new economy: “Companies that show they care have the market advantage.” Brands have to stand for more than the products they represent. We call it the “Soul of the [...]

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