Monday, January 20, 2014

"Yogi" logic

"This game is 90% mental. The other half is physical." Yogi Berra, the famous Yankee catcher, said that and was talking about baseball, but his famous quote can be used in almost any endeavor. The Mini-Clinic tours back in the '70s and '80s gave me the opportunity to talk with hundreds of people who were thinking about going into the carpet cleaning business.

These folks didn't have a clue about how to advertise to get the business. Worst of all, they had to commit to buying equipment and chemicals before they could even clean their first carpet. It was interesting to watch their faces as I talked about buying equipment, especially when Yogi's logic was applied to the difference between "buying" or being "sold."

To "buy" or to be "sold" may sound like the transaction has the same result but there is a huge difference. If a person is "sold," their chances of success are far less than those of a person who "buys" equipment. After being "sold" there is a period of doubt or buyer's remorse and that short hesitation may prevent the total commitment that it takes to succeed in a new business.

In a new business there is no room for error and just a short period of buyer's remorse may cause delaying an important decision. But someone who "sells" himself that he has made the right decision on equipment has a far greater chance to succeed because he is already committed and uses critical decision time with a clear head and to its fullest advantage.

Friday, January 17, 2014

More on bananas

The expression "Going bananas" is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy and can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent illnesses and conditions such as nerves. Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

A banana is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. Bananas might be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Astonishing comparison

During World War II, the U.S. built 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter planes, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 pieces of artillery, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, and 2,500,000 trucks.

Nearly 20 million military were trained and uniformed, we invaded Africa, Sicily, Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, took Europe, defeated Hitler and Mussolini, marched across the Pacific islands, won the Battle of Midway and built two atomic bombs and delivered them to Japan. All of this was accomplished in less than four years.

Obama took about the same amount of time to build a web site for Obamacare and it doesn't even work very well. The hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money that went to these "experts" is the epitome of "Crony Capitalism." Could it be true that the prime contract went to a foreign company owned by a college friend of Ms. O?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Low Fuel

When a car's low-fuel light comes on, there may be as little as one gallon of gasoline left, depending on the car model. Don't keep driving with the light on. In addition to running out of gas, driving with low fuel increases the risk of clogging fuel injectors with sediment that builds up in the bottom of the tank. That can reduce performance and fuel economy. The current cold weather compounds the problems.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Tell ya what I'm gonna' do!"

"You say you're not satisfied! You say you want more for your money! Tell you what I'm gonna' do!" When pitchmen first shouted that line on TV, a Madison Avenue advertising executive said, "Television will change the advertising business forever." He was right!

Are you ready for more radical change? A New York shopping "expert" on national TV recently suggested shopping at Macy's or Bloomingdale's where someone will courteously demonstrate a product. Then she advised, "Go on-line and find that product at the best price."

J. C. Penney was in the news last year for flubbing their marketing program. They quit offering sales and discounts and tried honest, "everyday low prices." The CEO, Ron Johnson, lost his job, their stock plummeted and they even ran "apology" commercials to shareholders.

FTC rules and standards are long gone. The advertising guy was right 60 years ago about TV. But I doubt he could have foreseen dealing with people where everything has to be virtually free or absurdly discounted. The internet has turned the merchandising world upside down.

Examples: Suits, "Buy one, get three free." Carpet, "70% off." Is the consumer really stupid enough to fall for the old "Mark 'em up so you can mark 'em down" game? The majority of retailers must think so. The sad tale of J. C. Penney more or less confirms it.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

One more comment on Christmas

Listening to a former editor of a big liberal magazine that folded recently describe the reasons for the event was interesting. In the interview he may have divulged the problem that really caused their demise without even knowing it. At one point he said, "The elite of the east and west coasts just weren't enough to keep it going."

That gives you some idea of what he thinks of the rest of us in fly-over country. Since the media in general has the "elite" mind-set it becomes obvious to connect that mentality to the effort to eliminate God from our country. Elitists in congress carry the water for the elite media (not the other way around) and are hard at work to make us a God-less nation.

Meanwhile archaeologists (remember most of them have been educated by an elite academia) are busy at work in the middle east trying to tear down the traditional views of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Christians are being killed in the middle east just as they were 2,000 years ago. And every year we see the same effort to remove Christ from Christmas.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Measuring ad results

Most people who advertise, especially those who write the check, want measurable results from their advertising dollars and in the near-term. Experience shows that advertising generates some immediate business but most benefits are measured in long-term value. An increased customer base and better profit margins are benefits from a consistent advertising program.

Certain fundamentals determine the success of an ad program. Be sure to target the right market and make sure an ad reaches it. Don't use too many different ads or try to mimic the "clever" ads used by big companies. It takes a budget outside the realm of small business to make them work. Most important, keep an ad program consistent.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Good advice from Cleanfax

Cleanfax published an article recently that goes to the heart of the training program at Bane- Clene Institute. Following are excerpts from the well-written article:

"The U.S. Department of Commerce claims that only one in five businesses will survive to celebrate its fifth anniversary. What is your biggest challenge? Rarely does one hear about a company failing because equipment could not do a good cleaning job. The real challenge is finding customers. Thousands of well-trained companies with state-of-the-art equipment fail each year. The predominant reason for their failure is the inability to create an ongoing flow of profitable work. Being the best carpet cleaner has little value if no one knows you exist. Yet for most start-ups, marketing is only an afterthought.

"Acquiring customers should be important from the beginning, and it will continually demand your attention and resources. Your success depends on your ability to accomplish this through effective marketing. Who or what is your competition? Many excuses have been given for why companies struggle. Some blame “price-shoppers” for forcing down prices. Others point to bait-and-switch companies as the reason for their hard times. National franchises or cheap budget companies are also good scapegoats.

"And when all else fails, blame the economy. These excuses are not the true reasons for failure. To succeed in business, you must know your real competition. If you do not know who or what that is, it will clobber you hard before you know what hit you. Your true competition is time.
Each company starts with a limited amount of cash and credit. Every month you and your business require a certain amount of that money to pay the bills. Your company is successful when it can produce more revenue than these bills consume. Until then, you are using up the limited financial resources with which you started.

"New owners often look around to see what other companies are doing and use them as role models. Unfortunately, according to the statistics, four out of five of your competitors are going to fail. If you follow their lead, you will experience the same failure that awaits them. Be selective about whose advice and habits you follow. You want to imitate businesses that are succeeding. Choose companies that are profitable, growing, and healthy. Look for mentors and teachers who have a proven track record."

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year

Best wishes for health, wealth and prosperity in 2014 from all of us at Bane-Clene.
May you be blessed with a Happy New Year.