Category Archives: business

Do you think he would be a good boss or business owner?

Do you think he would be a good boss or business owner?
by Andrew R. Spriegel

I was at International Pizza Expo 2011 (organized by National Association of Pizzeria Operators) at the Las Vegas Convention. I walked the various isles and went up to a great booth and saw a Chef, in a great looking Chef’s “uniform”.  I assumed he was the owner and asked “if he owned the business”?  What he said actually shocked me.  He said ” do you think if I was the boss I would be wearing this clown suit”?  We both had a good laugh, but his comment bothered me.  In my experience, the great bosses (with the successful businesses) are those “bosses” that will do anything to make the business successful, they will scrub the toilets, they will take out the trash, they will do whatever it takes to grow the business.  They will wear the “clown’s suit” and do what is necessary to brand and grow the business.

As I walked away from the booth and thought “Would he be a successful business owner?”,  in my mind, probably not.  If you are not willing to wear the uniform, you are not the type to scrub the toilets, and you are probably are not dedicated to do whatever it takes to be successful in a business.

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Best Practices In Negotiation: Barter!

By Dr. Gary S. Goodman

When most of us think about negotiating, we’re presuming that money will be involved in the transaction.

For instance, if you want to buy a house, you’ll fork over some cash, and not get away with asking, “Would you accept one red paperclip for it?”

Yet, this is exactly what a fellow did, not in one step but a sequence. He bartered a single, red paperclip for a house!

Kyle MacDonald is a Canadian blogger who pulled this off, and you can read all about his exploits at Wikipedia by searching “one red paperclip” or his name.

It’s a fascinating story, but my purpose here is to use it to illustrate a much larger principle. Bartering is a Best Practice In Negotiation, one that is not used often enough.

Who barters, and why?

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Seth Godin: 30%, the long tail and a future of serialized content

Seth Godin: 30%, the long tail and a future of serialized content
February 25, 2011

Republished with permission of Seth Godin

The 1960s and 70s were the golden age of magazines. Why?

  • Lots of people wanted to read them
  • The newsstand could only hold a few of them (barrier to entry permits some to win)
  • The winners had no trouble selling ads because they had motivated readers, in quantity
  • The cost of making one more edition of the magazine was relatively low

Enter tablets. To some, it feels like the dawn of a new golden age. People page through apps like Wired and gasp at the pretty pictures and cool features. Surely, we’re going to recreate that moment.

Here’s the problem, and here’s how Apple is making it much worse:

The newsstand is infinite. That means that far more titles will have far fewer subscribers. There are more than 60,000 apps on the newsstand. Hard to be in the short head when the long tail is so long…

plus, the cost of each issue is far higher, because it costs a lot more to pay a videographer, a video editor, a programmer, etc. than it does to pay John Updike to write 4,000 words…

plus, advertisers are harder to come by, because the number of readers is always going to be lower than it was back then, and the ads are easier to skip.

Of course, the good news is that the publisher doesn’t have to pay for paper, so the profit on each subscriber ought to be way higher. Except…

Except Apple has announced that they want to tax each subscription made via the iPad at 30%. Yes, it’s a tax, because what it does is dramatically decrease the incremental revenue from each subscriber. An intelligent publisher only has two choices: raise the price (punishing the reader and further cutting down readership) or make it free and hope for mass (see my point above about the infinite newsstand). When you make it free, it’s all about the ads, and if you don’t reach tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers, you’ll fail.

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Do you make these mistakes marketing your product?

Do you make these mistakes marketing your product?
by Andrew R. Spriegel
February 23, 2011

ANDHOW INNOVATIONS, LLC is finally ready to sign the non-exclusive licensing agreements and make money on our product!

The product is a dripless baster.  Here is the initial prototype:

 

Baster Valve

Baster Valve Inserted into the Tube

I don’t know why it took me seven years to figure out how to market my business partner’s and my invention.  My business partner is Howard Loewenthal, a principal engineer at Invacare Corporation. We developed a dripless baster that we have attempted to market and sell for years.

Here is a video of a typical baster in operation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kUYyJ5ACYA

Here is a video of the ANDHOW INNOVATIONS, LLC dripless baster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rs5c96jKes&NR=1

We tried over and over to sell the baster with the check valve, we were in a position of weakness.  Last year we received a licensing offer from Merry Chance, a Chinese Company, that was below our expectations. In spite of our desire to so settle a deal, we turned down the offer and it dawned on me!!!

We don’t have to sell the baster!!….We just have to sell the valve!!!

INSTANTLY WE WENT FROM A POSITION OF WEAKNESS TO A POSITION OF STRENGTH!  Either you license out valve and have a dripless baster or pass and sell a baster that LEAKS!

Introducing the:

In comes Van Washburn from FIT-Brands www.fit-brands.com to handle the marketing and a new video:

www.wondervalv.com

Off to the Housewares Show in Chicago next month, we will keep you posted on the outcome!

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Innovators and Genius in Ohio

Dale Adams, an Automotive Genius with a facility completely renovated in an 1928 art deco factory building in Kent, Ohio

Bio written by Josie Adams

Some people must be born with cars in their blood and a magnetic attraction to all things mechanical. Dale Adams, the founder and president of Dale Adams Enterprises is undoubtedly one of these people!

His journey towards the turning point in life – driving age – was probably an early indicator; he started wiring and re-wiring electric train layouts at the age of four, and by 14 had built his own hydroplane from plans published by Popular Mechanics magazine. But his interest in skimming the ponds of Andover, Massachusetts soon gave way to the New England influence of British sports cars, and soon after a family move to northern Ohio, the boat was sold to provide the down payment on a used 1964 MGB.

To pay for the car, he got an after school job at a local used car lot, where he suffered the indignities of rubbing out the good of his boss’ “car-of-the-week” so the boss could gaze out over the shine as he drove, and spray painting carpets to “renew” them. But the pleasure of driving the car on the hilly, tree-lined roads of the Western Reserve more than made up for the demands of the short-lived job. And instead of being discouraged by the inevitable mechanical problems of a used British car, he was lost for hours in the garage, pulling the engine and attending to his latest repair & improvement projects.

This relatively short period of life was to have a profound influence on his future, whetting his appetite for all sorts of automotive knowledge and experience, and becoming a driving desire to involve himself with the cars and machines from the 1900’s up to about the beginning of WWII – cars which many believe are the epitome of automotive style and elegance.

In 1971, soon after the MGB turned into an engagement ring, the acquired his next project – a Jaguar XK120. Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the time, Dale was lucky enough to meet his mentor, Glenn Pray, owner of the Auburn Cord Dusenburg Co., known for manufacturing modern replicas of the famous Auburn Speedsters. During the days he worked for Pray building the replicas, and spent much of his after work time learning the almost lost arts of metal shaping and finishing and using lead to make repairs. At the young age of 23 he completed a hand-built Auburn dual cowl phaeton for Pray, which was the prototype for a new line of replica cars.

He also spent every spare minute with car enthusiast friends and acquaintances, looking over their shoulders trying to learn and absorb everything possible about cars and how they were built, maintained and restored. He also bought, for $600, the remains of a 1966 Jaguar E-Type roadster that had been rolled. Working in his garage, between part time repair jobs taken on to provide the funds, he completely restored the Jag, and won the Jaguar Club’s National 1st prize, and several other 1st prize awards at local events.

Armed with these, and a rapidly growing reputation, Dale decided to strike out on his own, and at the age of 24, moved his family back to Ohio to start his own restoration business in a converted chicken coop on property he and his wife Josie bought in Northfield Center. Although he first cars he restored were 1950’s Jaguars, his real love is focused on the cars of the ‘20s and ‘30s, the beautiful and expensive cars that are known to collectors and enthusiasts as “The Classics”.

Sharing his enthusiasm for these cars led to friendships and restoration jobs with leading collectors of the area, including Packards, Rolls-Royces, Nashes and Peugeots, a classic Cadillac for the late Len Immke (co-founder of Wendy’s restaurants), and many others.

After several additions and remodelings, the location in the Northfield chicken coop was outgrown, and the business moved to a modern facility in an industrial park in Twinsburg. Needing more space after six years there, Dale and his wife Josie, who shares his interest in cars and architecture, purchased and completely renovated a 1928 art deco factory building in Kent, Ohio, and moved the business into it in February of 1995.

Adams, who says he “Loves the challenges and rewards of doing a complete, full restoration”, prides himself on having one of the most completely equipped auto restoration facilities in the world. Partial jobs and maintenance operations are only done as a courtesy for established clients. “We have a complete metal fabricating facility”, says Adams, “an extensive wood and pattern shop, a fully equipped body and paint facility, upholstery and trimming capabilities and a complete machine shop equipped with precision tools and CNC equipment that is used extensively to replace lost or ruined parts. About the only things we can’t do in-house are castings, plating and engine boring, which we sub-contract to various specialists.”

Not content to rest on their restoration laurels, Adams and his wife have also founded other auto-related businesses which they operate from the Kent facility, including a manufacturing operation which produces precision machined components which are used by some of the leading auto parts manufacturers to re-manufacture modern automobile rack & pinion steering systems. Adams not only developed the methodology for making these parts, he designed and built many of the machines used to do it!

Since he’s spent a lifetime working with cars and tools, it is perhaps no surprise that he undertook yet another venture, to re-design and manufacture a better version of the lowly mechanics creeper. Called “The Bone”, this product has been featured in a host of national trade and consumer magazines, on National television, and is currently marketed on a worldwide basis.

Dale’s most recent project is a 20,000 square foot mansion situated on a 72 acre farm in Ravenna, Ohio, which he plans on turning into his new home after renovation.

Automobiles they have restored in the past, as well as current and upcoming projects.

 

1928 Nash Ambassador

 

1931 Pierce Arrow

 

See www.daleadamsenterprises.com for the Dale Adams Website

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Manufacturing is not going away in Ohio — here’s why.

There is a lack of skilled workers over the next 3 to 10 years. According to a recent study, North-East Ohio will lose 60,000 manufacturing workers over the next 10 years.

Ohio manufacturing is responsible for more than one fourth of Ohio’s Gross State Product!

For the State of Ohio, manufacturing’s average wages are exceeded only by mining. (Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information)

Ohio ranks third nationwide in manufacturing output.

Manufacturing leads other Ohio industries in Contribution to Gross State Product.

 

Started in 2002 with less than 20 companies, the AWT has now grown to over 95 companies all working together to create a farm system for skilled workers.

Over the past year, the AWT has focused its efforts on the college education of future employees. Working with Lakeland Community College and Auburn Career Center, an associate of applied science in manufacturing has been developed as well as an educational and career pathway. This degree is also aligned with the National Association of Manufacturers Credentialing System.

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Familiarity Breeds Respect

Familiarity breeds respect
By Seth Godin

Reprinted with Permission

It’s nice to sign a letter, “sincerely yours,” but far more powerful, I think, to sign it, “with respect.” It says something compelling about the recipient, something earned.

I realized the other day that I’d been working with the trio of Megan, Corey and Gil at Squidoo for five years, since we founded the company. And that I’ve been with Anne, my trusted bookkeeper, for more than ten years, David at GTN for almost as long, and Lisa, my agent, for more than seventeen. In an amazing bit of time travel, I’ve been doing projects with my friend Red for more than thirty.

Over time, you don’t just come to trust valued colleagues like these, they also earn respect. Once you understand someone’s sensibilities and goals, it’s natural to see the world through their eyes and to embrace their motives and tactics. Once you’ve seen their work under pressure and in quieter moments, you get a sense for what they believe in. In a world of quick projects and short engagements, this sort of relationship is priceless.

It’s easier than ever to start relationships that can turn into ones like these. Just as hard as its ever been to make them last.

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