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Gaining Traction in the Marketplace takes Tenacity and Focus

You may hear about a brand that “just took off.” From our perspective, very few brands just take off. What’s more likely is that they started out small and sometimes took years to gain traction. As we’ve said many times before, it’s not the quality of the product, the price, or the demand so much [...]

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Outword Magazine Interview

Barefoot Wine’s Founders Do Well By Doing Good The story of how Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey in 1986 launched a scrappy new brand that would transform the US wine industry is one of accidental opportunity and the vision and courage to seize it. “We fell into business backwards,” Harvey says today. And seize it [...]

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A College Degree Can Give You an Entrepreneurial Edge

This year’s grads face serious employment challenges, but there’s probably never been a greater opportunity to create your own job. According to Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, the job prospects look rather dim due to the economic down turn. He cites some trends that may throw into question the very value of a [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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The Advantages of Being a Small Start-Up – Part 1

Today we need new products, new services, and new ideas to invent our way back to prosperity. Small start-up producers have always been the backbone of the economy, not just because they provide the most new jobs, but because they improve the very quality of our lives by bringing more good ideas to the market. [...]

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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 [...]

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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, [...]

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 1

Company culture has a direct bearing on sales, and the survival and growth of a company. We have mentioned it before but think it is such an important factor in company success that we want to expand upon it here in a three part series on the original Barefoot company culture that established the “DNA” [...]

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