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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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Kindred Spirits, Fellow Travelers, and Strategic Partners

One of the most effective and often over-looked resources to build and grow your business  is strategic alliances. “Partnerships” with other businesses and organizations who benefit by your success can help you meet your bills, get the word out about your company, and improve your image. Who succeeds if you succeed? As your business begins [...]

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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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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 [...]

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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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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 [...]

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Distribution: The Distance between a Great Product and a Sale – Part 4

                     In the  previous three posts we have given just a few examples of the importance of Channel Distribution Management in product design. Here we will examine two of the most important factors in product distribution through conventional channels: 14. Stack it! It is great to get your product on the retail shelf, but getting it [...]

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The Easiest Way to Lose your Customer

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 [...]

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