Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Thank You All For Your Support!

It has been an incredible year in 2008 and we look forward to the increased excitement and changes coming in 2009 with joy! We hope the same for you, your businesses and your families. It has truly been a pleasure serving you and we thank you for allowing us to share our thoughts and ideas with you.

On behald of my partner, Ryan Stone and myself, we want to say THANK YOU!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Forget the Regrets and Remember

It's time to look at 2008 and see what it has meant to you and your business. You may have regrets--things you meant to do and didn't; things you did and shouldn't have; poor decisions; procrastination and more. So what. Forget the regrets. Thinking about them will not change them, but enhance them, so let them go now.

Remember what you accomplished. Remember what worked. Remember how you grew and how you tried and how you adjusted in the face of a different business climate. Remember your success. Thinking about this will change everything, and yes, it will enhance it even more.

Wallow in it and get a good feel of 2008. You only have a few days to rejoice in it while it is still here. I'll leave you now so you can celebrate. See you soon.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Champagne Tasting Saturday

Champagne Tasting
Saturday, Dec 27th, 2008

5-7 pm
Wine & Spirits World
Vacaville CA

See website for details.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Great Companies: Netlfix

This is a commercial for one of my favorite companies. Having been a Netflix subscriber for several years, I can heartily recommend their quality service. And there's much more. . .

One of their commercials stresses the no late fees aspect of their service. That is good and I really do like that. Another talks of their massive selection of available titles--100,000 DVD's and counting. I like that too, but there's more.

You can get a DVD in about 1 day average. This is true and I do like that. You can watch about 12,000 titles on your computer or TV (with device) instantly at no extra charge. I truly enjoy this too, but there's more.

Their service is outstanding! I've had a few DVD's arrive damaged, but they send another one out the same day. Stuff happens, but they stand tall in how it is handled. And they periodically check how they are doing as well. A lot of companies could learn from this one!

What is more and what I have come to like the most about Netflix is the star rating system that allows me to rate movies I've seen and their system will suggest movies that I might like. I can tell you this: I have seen a lot of wonderful movies that I would never have seen if not for this system. It is awesome. I am constantly finding movies I never heard of that are 5 stars!

If you like movies, you have to love Netflix! Inexpensive, great service, massive selection, instant movies online, fast delivery. What's not to like. It is a great company. Check it out for yourself and you too will find that you love Netflix.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Communities Online Network is a leader in developing and marketing area specific websites for cities in Northern California. Each site delivers daily and interactive content to keep the community informed and offer a forum to share opinions and ideas on movies, dining options, books, schools, sports, and more.
  • List your Garage Sales & Community Events FREE!
  • Businesses: Add your Local Coupons FREE!

Daily Updates:

  • Garage Sale Calendar
  • Local & National News
  • Book Club
  • Weather, Sports & Traffic
  • Local Business Directory
  • Shopping & Local Coupons
  • Dining & Movies
  • Community Events Calendar
  • and much more!

Seven sites are online and more coming in 2009!

As the population continues to escalate in California, now more than ever there is a need for one website that serves as a local, one-stop source of information on everything that is happening throughout the city.

For more information, go to www.CommunitiesOnlineNetwork.com, the site nearest your city above, or call Ryan Stone at 707-480-0959.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Make Your Next Event Better

Make your next event better with sound!

I've been to a few events recently that could be very much improved by adding a small sound system that allows the leaders of the event to effectively communicate with the crowd. One event last week was a mixer with over 200 people in attendance and no PA system at all. They were yelling as loud as they could, but you could hear them further than 20 feet away with all the chatter. They also were calling out ticket numbers for prizes.

This is a very easy fix. I found a small, compact, self-contained PA system that is fabulous and it has been used in a wide variety of applications with great success. I highly recommend it. It is a great investment and will last for many years. The unit is the Peavey Escort (R) Portable Sound System. You will find it worth every cent!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Okay To Not Know

It's okay to not know everything. First of all, it's pretty much impossible to know everything and once you did if you could, it would all change. So, it is okay to admit it: "I don't know much of anything about that . . ." That is a good thing, and even better is to add this phrase to that last statement: ". . . so I could use some help in that area." That's real progress!

CEO's of large corporations, like GM and Ford don't know everything about their own company, but they don't need to. It's not even their job to know everything. It's their job to lead and part of that leadership is finding the people in and out of the company who know what they need so they can call on it as needed. It would be a serious waste of time and talent for the CEO to know everything.

When it comes to small businesses, you may know a lot about the subject of the business that you run, but you can probably really use some help in marketing, web design, sales ideas and so on. There isn't any way that you could know all you need to know about everything either. So, admitting and accepting this and then seeking assistance is a very wise thing to do. Just by coming to this point and stating this will help the assistance to find you. There are lots of people and companies that are ready and waiting to assist you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Consistency Of Experience

I talked with a businessman who owns several stores in different cities. He stated that his goal was to be a large chain of stores like his competitor is. I briefly talked with him about his stores and my own experience and that of others who notice clearly that there is not a consistency of experience. There is nothing other than similar name to tie them together. They operate differently and they have a different atmosphere. That issue needs to be resolved to begin to create a chain.

A chain afterall, is individual links fastened together and in most chains, the links are the same. Think about McDonald's Restaurant. It is one of the largest chains in the world and if you happen to like McDonald's food, you can trust that as you travel throughout the country, you will have a consistent experience: good food, cooked in the same way, served in the same way and a clean restaurant with clean rest rooms and well lit spaces and so on. Consistency counts.

I went to Sydney, Australia for a couple weeks a few years ago and the first place we stopped after leaving the airport in our right hand drive car was McDonald's. We wanted to see what was different about McDonald's from the way it was in the U.S.. It was so very similar that I would have to say it was a consistent experience. They had a couple of items on the menu that you wouldn't find in the U.S., but other than that, the experience was the same.

Another way to look at this if you don't have and don't intend to have multiple locations is to think about the consistency of the customer experience in each visit to your store. That is very important to convey to the customer that they can expect a certain level of experience each time they come in. This will speak to displays, atmosphere, employee training and so on. People want to feel comfortable and they want to know that they will feel comfortable again should they have the opportunity to return. I know that I do and I choose places based on how I feel when I am in their store. How can you give your customers a consistent experience?