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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for October 2013

Business Lessons From The Hamburger

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The Hamburger As A Business Model

The Hamburger As A Business Model

The next time you are at a burger joint, take a good look at the hamburger you are about to eat.  It is a model for your business.  How is that possible you may ask?  Let me explain.

A good hamburger must start with a good meat patty.  That is the core reason you eat a hamburger – for the hamburger!  This is the same for you business.  What is your core?   Is it attracting people like a nice juicy hamburger?  This is what you build your sandwich or business around.  It is great to have bells and whistles and other fluff but ultimately you need a foundation that is top-notch.  Take an honest look at your business and make sure your core is solid.

The second biggest component to the hamburger is the bun.  A good bun is important to the hamburger and can add to the flavor and texture profile.  No matter how good the bun is I don’t think that anyone wants to be known for their bun if they are in the hamburger business.  If people rave about the hamburger bun – you don’t have a very good hamburger.  The bun in an important ancillary ingredient but can’t make up for a lousy patty.  The same goes for your business.  It is important that you have ancillary products or services so you can maximize the value from each customer but I implore you to make sure your hamburger is the star of your show.

The final component of the hamburger is the “all other” category – the toppings, condiments and special sauces.  These are the least important but do play a role in the hamburger and your business.  Lettuce, pickles, onions, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and grape jelly-honey-mustard-chipotle sauce can only take you so far.  If you are known for your special sauce maybe you better go into the sauce business and get out of the hamburger business.  These necessary components are the advertising slogans, jingles, logos and other graphic arts found on your website and printed materials.  The best of these can’t do anything if your core is lousy.  Just like skimping on the toppings can ruin the burger, you can’t skimp in this area either.  Just don’t forget the core is headliner not the grape jelly-honey mustard-chipotle sauce.

Have a great week improving on your burger, I mean business.  With all this talk of burgers I need to make a trip to get my favorite Bison Burger at Ted’s Montana Grille.

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Written by pacelinebiz

October 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

Murphy’s Law

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Fun With Graphs

Fun With Graphs

In the past, I have drawn some graphs that were intended to depict certain conditions.  For example, I drew a graph that depicted alertness while driving relative to distance from destination.  I also drew a graph for the need for naps as you age. 

When I was thinking of an idea for today’s blog, I thought it was time to go back to representing a condition by depicting it in a graph.  By doing this, I think I stumbled upon the graphical depiction of Murphy’s Law.   My first thoughts were to draw a graph of the need for a loan and the availability or ease of obtaining one.  Then I thought I would depict the need for a bathroom and the distance from one and they were the same graph.  I realize I was drawing an inverse relationship.  Upon realizing that I also determined that in essence I had captured the graphical depiction of Murphy’s Law.

The graph at the top has 3 data points, A, B and C.  With the explanation above, let’s have some fun with A, B and C.

Q: If we are talking about a Bank Loan and you are at point C what is your name?

A: Warren Buffett

Q: You are at point C and you just ate a steak dinner how many great restaurants are nearby?

A: Thousands

Q: You are starving and find yourself at point A, what do you see?

A: Nothing for miles but a vending machine that sells stale cheese crackers and only accepts Canadian coins and you are in Mexico.

Q: You are running late and are at point A, what is the “something”?

A: Green traffic lights.

Q: I am full of ideas for my blog, and am at Point A.  What am I lacking?

A: The ability to remember and any sort of device to document these great thoughts.

Q: Does point B exist? (Moderate need moderate availability)

A: No

Note: I showed this graph to someone and his response was funny.  He said; ” I totally get this graph. It’s like my need for it is zero and yet here it is.”

Have a great week battling inverse relationships.

Written by pacelinebiz

October 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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Focus On Things That Are Important Which You Can Control

Focus On Things That Are Important Which You Can Control

What inspired this topic was a diagram I recently saw on LinkedIn.  It is pictured below.  I would like to give credit to the person who drew it but I can’t because it was in someone’s update and was not credited.  Anyways, thank you to the originator.

It is interesting that a diagram is prompting me to write about today’s topic. Next week’s topic is already written and was written a week before this one was and it has one of my hand drawn graphs in it.  Check back next week to see what I am up to.

The diagram above (a Venn diagram) has very worthy advice to follow and led me to think about what I have drawn below.

Do What Leads To Results

Do What Leads To Results

 

When running a small business wearing many hats, you only have a limited amount of time, so you have to maximize your efforts so you only do what will make you successful.  The shaded area in my diagram needs to be as large as possible.  Try to do only the things that will lead to your success and minimize things that don’t.  That might make you think to yourself;”this guy is crazy, all work and no play will burn you out.”  I am not suggesting that at all.  I am only asking you to critically evaluate what you are pursuing in terms of how it affects your success – as you define it.  Steven Covey would tell you to begin with the end in mind and only do things that will help you achieve your goal. Activities that refresh and re-charge your batteries are most definitely on the list of things that lead to success.  I am talking about things in moderation like:

  • Regular exercise
  • Dining out with your spouse
  • Playing videos games, enjoying a hobby or other mindless pursuits like watching TV
  • Vacations

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome from playing too many video games I think you have gone beyond moderation.

You must be careful of things that seem like they are going to help you achieve your goal but aren’t.  This is where you must measure so you can manage your activities.  Evaluating an advertising campaign or different forms of advertising so you know what works best for you.  Keep what works and stop what isn’t yielding results.  If you have no ability to measure the results then how can you make a good decision?

My final point is that measuring what you think leads to your success can sometimes be difficult and I suggest that, if applicable, you do customer surveys to gauge results.  A restaurateur might think that the key to his or her success is the special blend of herbs and spices used but when surveyed his customers may cite another reason that he never thought of such as his food is “finger lickin’ good”.

Have a great week, and check back next week when I will discuss Murphy’s Law.

Written by pacelinebiz

October 14, 2013 at 8:02 am

A Lot Has Happened Since 1992

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1992

As I write this on September 10th, the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans woke up today with the assurance that they would have a winning season for the first time since 1992.  I have written about this and talked about it quite a bit over the past couple of months as it appeared they were going to finally break through.  As I was lying in bed last night after the clinching 1-0 victory over the Texas Rangers I was thinking about how long that stretch was.  Of course, I also thought I should blog about it.

Since the last winning season in 1992:

  • I have moved 4 times to 3 different states.   From Ohio to Pennsylvania, from Pennsylvania back to Ohio, from Ohio to Ohio and from Ohio to Georgia
  • We elected three, two term presidents – Clinton, Bush and Obama.
  • The world population went from 5.5 billion to 7.1 billion – a 1.6 billion increase.
  • The US population went from 255 million to 314 million.  That’s 59 million Americans that never experienced a winning Pirate team.
  • I turned 30, 40 and recently 50.  That’s gross.  I’ll let you decide what I mean by gross; the lack of winning or my age.
  • Rock and roll died.
  • I bought 6 cars.  Read about them here.
  • The New York Yankees won five World Series Championships.
  • The Florida (now Miami) Marlins joined the league in 1993 AND HAVE WON 2 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS!  Just think about that for a minute.
  • Babies born on the day of the Sid Bream slide would have been old enough to drink alcohol on October 14th 2013.  That is over 7,600 days.
  • Derek Jeter of those Yankees got 3,316 hits as of 9/10/13
  • Barry Bonds, who thankfully never wore a Pirate uniform again disgraced himself as he went on to hit many steroid aided home runs.  Yet he was unable to throw out a one legged man that fateful night at home plate who was attempting to score from second base on a fairly shallow single.
  • Despite what the previous bullet point may indicate, my bitterness about that loss has waned.
  • Our national debt has gone from $4 Trillion to $17 Trillion.
  • The compact disc proliferated and became obsolete as has the desktop computer.
  • My allegiance to the Pirates has remained steady.  Is that loyalty or stupidity?  Don’t answer that.

Have a great week.  I know I will.

Written by pacelinebiz

October 7, 2013 at 8:01 am