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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for September 2013

Business Lessons From RGIII

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Lessons From The Grid Iron

Lessons From The Grid Iron

Robert Griffin the third is an NFL quarterback for Washington.  He is mobile, athletic and deadly accurate when passing the football.  He also is the new norm for NFL quarterbacks.  The old standard of the drop back pocket passer such as recent greats Peyton Manning and Tom Brady is fading away.  Today’s topic is not about Robert Griffin III or the NFL.  It is about what we can learn from the new development in the NFL quarterback and implement it into our businesses.

Are you still confused?  This is what I am talking about.  RGII as he is called; is the product of challenging the status quo and finding a different way to do something.  To use a worn out cliché; it is thinking outside the box.  I like to call it Turning Things On End To Achieve Results!  The way to stand out from the crowd is to innovate.  My definition of innovation is; “exploiting the status quo to your advantage”.

The rate of change in this world is growing exponentially.  Technology and our culture are two good examples.  As businesses owners we need to embrace technology and use it to our benefit and also recognize changes in our culture so we can adapt to operate in an environment that is much different than 20 or even 10 years ago.  We could easily be in an era similar to the industrial revolution but not realize it.  Perhaps someday history will have a name for this period.  Maybe we can call it revolution by disruption.  Entire industries are fading away rapidly.  Look at what Amazon has done to retail.  The traditional newspaper delivered to your door is facing a very uncertain future.  Entertainment and information dissemination is finding new pipelines via Twitter, Facebook and, streaming content on smart phone or TV’s.

If you want to be different and to make a mark in the industry that you operate then you need to exploit the status quo to your advantage.  Find a new way to do something or offer a different twist on a product.

Have a great week exploiting the status quo.  You’ll thank me later.

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Written by pacelinebiz

September 30, 2013 at 8:01 am

The 8 Track Tape And Other Things That Are No More

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No More Loose Change!

No More Loose Change!

I was thinking about how long it has been since the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season (1992) and I started thinking about this topic.  I thought it would be neat to take a look at things that were once a part of every day life that are now all but extinct.  Some of these were gone by 1992 and some were still around but on the way out.

  • Full Service gasoline stations.  I did a little research on this and as of last year Oregon and New Jersey were the only two states that do not allow self-service.  For all the other 48 states full service filling stations are almost extinct.  I have not seen a full service filling station in quite a while but I am sure there are a few around.  Yes, I said “filling station”.
  • Pay phones.
  • Vending machines for cigarettes.  I don’t know when or if they were outlawed but I have not seen one for probably 25 years.  I remember seeing the stern warning sticker on the machines that said “Cigarettes are outlawed for minors” That was a real deterrent.
  • A change purse.  This was that plastic thing that was used to keep your change from being loose in your pocket.  It was usually an advertising give away.   Rather than describe it any further see the picture above:
  • Parcel pick up at grocery stores.  In case you do not know what I mean by this I will describe it.   Each grocery cart had a number that was attached to it and one that you kept.   You would take your cart to the designated area where a stock boy would wait for you as you went to your car and then he would load your car with the groceries from your cart.  It was a nice feature and I believe there are still some grocery stored that continue this today.  It might have been done to keep carts from rolling around the parking lot unattended and creating an insurance liability due to “door dings”.
  • A price “gun” that had small stickers with the price for items at various stores.  Before that there was a mechanical stamper that had ink to print the price on the item.   I usually remember these at grocery stores.  The UPC code did a good job of saving lots of time pricing items and it could also be integrated into the inventory system.
  • The portable typewriter.  Even the word processor that replaced the typewriter is no more.  Technology moves at a rapid pace.  I remember taking a typing class (using a fancy IBM Selectric) in high school as a joke thinking I would never need those skills.  I wish I learned how to type because now everyone needs those skills.  Let’s hope the voice recognition technology from the smart phone is employed on computers soon and the keyboard can become optional.

Have a great week, I hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane or if you don’t remember those things learning a little bit about life before you were issued a smart phone at age 7.

Written by pacelinebiz

September 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

Understanding Financial Statements

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More Information Needed

More Information Needed

Today’s topic will be a brief lesson about understanding financial statements.  What does the chart above tell you?  Not much.  In fact, it tells you that you need more information to make a decision about its significance.

I was recently a speaker at a Business Education Seminar and spoke about Understanding Financial Statements for the small business owner.  I thought I would share a few bullet points from that presentation.

  • Sales – cost of goods sold – operating expenses = net income or loss.  That is third grade arithmetic and is only half the story.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the information is what is important – not just the numbers
  • Making informed decisions based on your knowledge and understanding of the information is what is most valuable
  • You need to have a year over year comparison for your financial statements and 5 years of data is good for trend analysis

Understanding financial statements can be compared to reading versus comprehension for example:

Person 1 read a book and gave this report:
It is a book about a pig and a spider that can write words in her spider web.”

Person 2 read a book and gave this report:
It is a story of a spider, aided by a rat, and they’re working to save Wilbur the pig from the reality of every working barn. Its message is; kind people can be ugly and sometimes cruel, others can be greedy but helpful, snooty but caring. The world can be harsh but also beautiful and warm. It’s a lovely fantasy grounded in reality.”

Which person “got it”? (Reading vs. comprehension)

Let’s take a look at the rest of the story from the chart above and you will immediately see my point.  Look what happens after period 12.  Have a great week digging deeper into understanding your financial statements to manage your business.

The Rest Of The Story

The Rest Of The Story

Written by pacelinebiz

September 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

Yes, Bowling

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Let's Roll A Few Frames

Let’s Roll A Few Frames

I had not been to a bowling center for many years but that all changed this year.  I have been to four different bowling centers so far.  The bowling center has changed drastically since I was a kid.  When I went they were typically smoke-filled, dirty and run down.  You also had to keep score with a pencil and paper.  Today they could be nothing further from that as the facilities I have gone to are very upscale. They are also free of any smoke hanging in the air and you don’t have to keep score!  It is done automatically to enhance the bowling experience.

The way you are charged for the experience has also changed, in the past you paid for shoe rental and a set fee per game.  Based on the four different locations I have been to it appears, you pay an hourly rate for the lane.  If you are with four people and bowl for an hour (about 3 games) the charge is about $11 per person with shoe rental which is reasonable – especially since the facilities are so much better than the old days.  At one of the centers the manager said they just went through a renovation and they spent over a million dollars.  It looked like it to me.

My message for you today is if you have not been bowling in a while try it out.  It is not what you are expecting – it is better.  I found some interesting facts related to bowling that I thought I would share:

Fact 1: The first indoor bowling lanes were built in New York City in 1840.

Fact 2: 70 million people bowled at least once in 2011.

Fact 3: There is no minimum weight for a bowling ball.

Fact 4: Bowling balls were made out of wood until the early 1900s.

Fact 5: The largest bowling center is located in Japan. It has 141 lanes!

Fact 6: Bowling raises over $225 million a year for charity.

Fact 7: The maximum number of holes allowed in a bowling ball is 12.

Fact 8: Bowling is the number one participation sport in America.

Fact 9: The youngest person to bowl a 300 game was Chaz Dennis at the age of 10 years, 2 months in Columbus, OH.

Fact 10: The origins of bowling can be traced about 5,000 years back to Rome and Greece.

Have a great week and do something different.  Go bowling and roll a few games.

Not Smoke Filled!

Not Smoke Filled!

Written by pacelinebiz

September 9, 2013 at 8:01 am