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A Bigger Slice of Pie

Slice of Apple Pie

Get a Bigger Slice

So many businesses are trying so hard to be all things to all people these days. Do we just need to decide who we’re trying to serve? What would happen if we could confidently, and happily focus on one market segment? Could we be happy there if we did? Would our customers be happy if we did? Continue reading

Pile-up on Groupon, Coupons, Discounts

They're beginning to pile up

Fenderbender to 20 Car Pileup

You can see it coming as pundits line up to speak out against the excessive discounting being practiced by recession fighting sellers. A 20-car pile-up is about to happen.

People who wrote books and articles about aggressive promotional marketing to drive traffic and build business are seeking to stand out as they speak out against the avalanche of discount oriented advertising that they themselves promoted to fill up our mailboxes and the center of the Sunday paper. All of a sudden it seems that coupons, Groupons, freebies and discounts are ALL bad.

Casting those who provide mindless marketing services such as Groupon, and those who aggressively promote discounting as being stupid is just stupid. Companies that fabricate ridiculous offers that destroy their companies are probably destroying their companies in several other ways. Continue reading

New Friends – Comedian Drew Hastings

Comedian Drew Hastings
Drew Hastings, Comedian and Farmer

My mission this year is to make a lot of new friends. One of the best I’ve met is comedian Drew Hastings. I live in a small quaint rural community of Hillsboro located 3o miles East of Cincinnati, Ohio. Things change slowly out here for the most part, but the activity is picking up over the 15 years since I moved here. One of our most notable residents of the past few years is comedian Drew Hastings.

After becoming disgusted with living in Los Angeles Drew escaped to Highland County Ohio and bought a working farm. He’s also become involved in historic preservation and more recently, local politics. Unlike most part-time farmers, Drew does his comedy gig on weekends and farms weekdays. So what’s significant about this and why am I bragging about my new celebrity friend and neighbor? Continue reading

Roll Your Sleeves Up – Higher

Roll Your Sleeves up HIGHER

"Let's Roll"

Are You Guys Ready? Let’s Roll

If you are waiting for the economy to improve for your company to do better stop waiting now.

The phrase “Let’s Roll” was made famous when it was spoken by Todd Beamer, passenger on flight 93 over an in-flight phone before the fatal crash in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001. “Let’s Roll” can also serve as the battle cry of your company to overcome the market forces, excusitis, or whatever resistance you’re dealing with to make 2011 the best year it possibly can be. Continue reading

Don’t Wait – Investigate

Porsche Panamera

I can't remember who gave me this car!

From the Unbelievable file comes a laughable story of the short memory of the North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre about exactly who loaned him a Porsche reported in the Miami Herald.

But not so laughable is the story about a former buyer for The Home Depot sentenced to 2 years 3 months in prison for accepting kickbacks.

Other than fueling some much needed laughing these stories inspired me to remind you that its a good time to take note of situations in your company that just don’t seem, feel, or look right, and to carefully dig into them. Get some help from your friendly local prosecutor’s office. Continue reading

New Garden Centers in THIS Day and Age?

You’ve got to be crazy! Who, in their right mind would dare start a garden center now?

Well there are some people who are. Read about them in the Garden Center Birth & Re-birth room.

It is in the nature of our business that we’re approached by wanna-be garden center owners. The reasons for starting a garden center now are many, but these five are the most popular.

Continue reading

STAY OUT of the Garden Center Graveyard

Airplane Graveyard

Graveyard of Defunct Aircraft

Why do they not ask for help?

The grave yard of garden centers is growing like the Arizona graveyard of defunct aircraft. Contraction of the airline industry has caused many older, inefficient and costly to maintain aircraft to be retired permanently. It used to be the case that new upstart competitors would buy older aircraft to start their companies, but it is actually less expensive to make the payments on newer machines that use less fuel, require less labor to operate, and require less repair and maintenance.

It saddens me to learn of such things as the pending closure of Porter’s Home & Garden Center near Ocala Florida. Ocala.com reported that liquidation of inventory has begun. The loan in default is backed by the business and the private homes of three of the Porter family owners. Continue reading

Time to Push Your Reset Button!

Press This Button for Help!Time to Press the Reset Button!

This is not a question, it is a statement! There are times that life becomes so confused that it is just better to press the reset button and reprogram our lives rather than try to make-do while the darned thing is out of whack.

Recently I was talking with Matt Horn, owner of Matterhorn Nursery about his plans to totally reinvent his garden center. While Matt has been one undisputed leader of innovation in the garden center business over the years he realizes that it is time to re-engineer the concept of Matterhorn Nursery. The story has something to do with goats, and you’ll have to ask Matt about that. Continue reading

The Benefits of a Poor Economy

The Benefits of a Poor Economy

Who said the recession is over? Has the consumer finished cocooning? Are they all done with Stay-cations? I think not, but someone is going to have to inspire them to have one at home in their own backyard. Are we going to leave that up to Frontgate and Pottery Barn?

This economic near-depression is probably going to last a long time as long as our government has anything to do with it, and it does. This is reflected in a broad range of change in consumer and business spending habits ranging from SLD (spending lock down) to basic simplification frugality. Those who continue to earn and spend are paying down debt, saving aggressively, and have adopted a consciousness NOT to flaunt luxuries in front of their friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers and employees. That’s pretty much everyone isn’t it? Continue reading

The Price of a Bad Economy – How Much Will THIS Cost?

The Price of a Bad Economy – How Much Will THIS Cost?

Rodney Johnson, President of HS Dent

Rodney Johnson

This post has been incubating for a while and I decided to scrap what I had started in favor of pointing you to what Rodney Johnson with HS Dent has to say. Harry Dent and his organization have been accurate about our economy since the 80’s. That’s because they use what they call The Dent Method to make projections, not predictions. Click on Rodney’s picture to hear what he has to say about potato chips.

Dent’s basis for making projections is the birth rate and resulting demographics that can be projected in real numbers rather than subjective arbitrary opinion. No, they’re not 100% accurate on everything about the economy, mainly because they don’t make predictions about the economy. They only make projections of the impact of the birth rate and immigration on the economy. The fact is that a lot of what happens in the financial world is caused by people changing direction, sometimes irrationally, and that cannot be predicted accurately. But birth rate and resulting demographics can be projected so that is what they do – project. Continue reading

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