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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for September 2015

Jumping The Shark

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He Is Jumping The Shark!

He Is Jumping The Shark!

Think of this as a Jeff Foxworthy bit similar to “you might be a red neck”.  This topic relates to this blog and to other people who blog.

You know you have jumped the shark if:

  • You invent a character like Jimmy Sad Eyes and then use it as a recurring topic even creating imaginary interviews with said character. Jimmy Sad Eyes is really my dog and he is cute and lovable and according to the Vet his most recent blood work was; and I quote, “Perfect!”
  • You mention your dog just so you can brag about him and his cuteness.
  • You write contrived topics like 26 things I like about November.
  • You hope that something weird happens at the fast food restaurant so you can write about it.
  • You actually wrote a blog about Shamrock shakes.
  • You admit to Jumping the Shark and blog about it just to make it through another week.
  • You spill coffee over your desk and blog about it.
  • You spill coffee over your desk again and blog about coffee cup height to base ratios. Height to base ratios is not at all a contrived concept.
  • You jump the shark and include a Wikipedia link about When Happy Days Jumped The Shark

I guess that is all of the Shark Jumping I have for the week, I promise to try harder next week. Until then, have a great week.

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Written by pacelinebiz

September 28, 2015 at 8:01 am

Pricing Your Product

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This Is A Newspaper

This Is A Newspaper

Today’s topic is an issue I am dealing with right now regarding my local newspaper. For those of you under 30 a newspaper is the thing that old people use to protect delicate items from being broken when being shipped. Yes, I read a newspaper and I am not ashamed to admit it. They have a great deal of value for local news and that is the only reason I like to have one delivered to my driveway.

Now, back to the issue at hand — my newspaper and its pricing policies. I have subscribed to my local paper on and off for about three years. That is the problem. It has been on and off. I first got an introductory one year subscription for $89 for one year. When the subscription expired, the renewal was $115 and I reluctantly renewed. As the next year was ending I was definitely thinking I needed to offer the newspaper my renewal at $89 or less. I could no longer justify the $115 price. The renewal arrived and I wasn’t offered the same $115 that I already thought was too high but $155! This was a 35% increase! I didn’t even bother to call and haggle, I was done with the paper.

It has been a about year since I did not renew and over that time I have gotten offers to come back but none were good enough to entice me back. Finally, a few weeks ago I got an offer that I could not refuse. It was 6 months for $35! I imagine after the 6 months is done they will go back to their $155 rate per year and I will drop them again. My question is; why did they not just set a reasonable price and they would have been more likely to keep me without interruption and we all would have been better off.

They way I look at it if they would have stayed at $89 per year they would have been better off since they got nothing from me for a year, $89 for a year and $115 for a year and now $35 for a half-year. The delivery person would have liked this since my neighbor has been getting the paper continuously throughout this saga.

I fully understand that newspapers are undergoing extreme changes in their industry but they need to ascertain the proper selling price (the perceived value) of their product and develop a good estimate of the revenue stream from subscriptions and advertising and adjust their cost structure accordingly. This is probably easier said than done especially when technology has disrupted the status quo so greatly.

One thing they should do is improve on the quality of the product. Get more in-depth and better local reporting that is still essential to any concerned citizen or business owner. Why there is any space devoted to any national issues in a local newspaper today is beyond my comprehension. For years we have been able to get national and international news in real-time on radio, TV, Cable, the internet and now Twitter or Instagram.

I will end with the admonition to all business owners to price accordingly because discounting your product cheapens the value and in the end you may get less than you otherwise could have if you set a reasonable price in the first place.

Have a great week; I need to drop my special renewal rate card in the mail box (They are paying for the postage!)

Written by pacelinebiz

September 21, 2015 at 8:04 am

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

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Cannonball!!

Cannonball!!

Summer is winding down for the year and I just like the first homework assignment in the new school year thought I would take a look back at what I did, didn’t or wished I had done. I hope you had a summer full of pleasant activities.

What I Did:

  • Lots of bike rides
  • Lots of cutting the grass
  • Lots of working
  • Picked lots of hot peppers from my garden.  It was a great year for peppers.
  • Lots of dinners outside at various restaurants. We probably ate inside a restaurant less than 5 times since April.
  • Lots of walking Jimmy Sad Eyes
  • Had dozens of trees cut down in my back yard that were killing my grass (is that really a bad thing?) and threatening my house.
  • Bought a new car!
  • Ate at the Corral roadside restaurant which I blogged about previously and can be read by clicking here
  • Attended a minor league baseball game
  • Saw the movie Ant Man and then blogged about it. Read what I wrote
  • Watched lots of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games on MLB.TV (lots of wins!)

What I didn’t do:

  • Take a vacation – so this whole thing could be zero words because I did nothing on my summer vacation since I didn’t have one. Boo!!
  • Shiver. There have been about 50 days above 90 degrees in my area of Georgia this summer. We have only had 5 days below 80 since May 1st.
  • Wear long pants after work or on weekends. The last time I wore long pants after work or on the weekend was probably the beginning of May. That is fine by me.
  • Complain about it being too hot. I had my fill of long cold winters so it may be a while before I can’t take the heat. It might be hot but you don’t have to shovel sunshine.
  • Go hunting, fishing or camping. That is mostly because I don’t like those activities. I have a house with a nice, big, soft bed – why would I ever want to sleep on the hard ground?

What I wished I had done:

  • Grill out more. We didn’t seem to have the time this year for much grilling.
  • Hired someone to cut my grass when I was too busy. Why stress out when there are people who do that. All it costs is a phone call and money. A lesson I need to learn is you can’t make more time but you can make more money.

I guess that is all I wished I had done. I don’t have many regrets because I have learned that the journey itself is part of the fun.  Have a great week checking off things on your summer to do list.

Written by pacelinebiz

September 14, 2015 at 8:01 am

It’s Not Me, It’s You

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My Owner Has "Trust Issues"

My Owner Has “Trust Issues”

Note: Today marks the 6 year birthday of this blog

Unfortunately, I have a sad story to tell of a long relationship that ended badly. I had to end a relationship recently that dates back to the 1970’s. It had been very wobbly over the past several years and finally came to an end in June. I am so happy I finally realized that I would be better if the relationship was over.

I had to end my love affair with General Motors. I gave and gave over the years and was rewarded in return. In the past several years I was no longer receiving love back and was being hurt repeatedly – and they didn’t seem to care. So I ended it.

Before I describe the end let me take you back to the good old days. I loved the cars they made and they were good! I first fell in love as a youth with the late 60’s muscle cars. The Corvette, Camaro, Malibu, Cutlass and even the four door Impala was sweet back in the day. I had a real crush on the ‘69 Camaro Z-28. I had no time for the silly Chrysler products and their hemi engines or Ford except maybe the Mustang. Who can forget the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen? I have had a lot of GM cars over the years and my first new car I bought was a 1992 Chevy Cavalier. I tricked it out (as much as one could to a 4 cylinder economy car) with pinstripes and multiple “Bow Tie” decals. That car served me well and I went on to drive two S-10 pickup trucks and a Saturn and a 2009 Malibu.

The 2009 Malibu was what soured the relationship. It was without a doubt a lemon. It had so many problems that I can only list a few. The worst were the 6 times I replaced the automatic door locks, the two times I had to replace suspension parts that wore out incredibly fast and both remote key fobs that broke simply because the delicate soldering on the battery hold down clip broke. This also happened on the Saturn as well. It also had many “check engine” light problems that required a trip in to the shop for repairs so I could pass my emissions test. The final straw was the catalytic converter and two variable valve timing sensors that needed replaced.

I also have a 2008 Saturn and a 2011 Cruze in my stable and they are also junk. They have all had at least 3 recalls each and that is probably an underestimate.  I had to replace the thermostat in the Cruze and it was over $300 due to the modular design.

I grew up near a GM production facility and learned to appreciate the impact that it had on the local economy and was a hold out against buying imports for years despite the rave reviews they received for reliability. My brothers have a repair shop and as much as they hated to say it they have told me and their customers that Honda and Toyota were light years ahead of the American products for reliability.

In June I finally woke up and stopped taking the abuse that I was receiving and I bought a Honda. I still don’t feel right about it but time will tell if it was the right decision. I was probably foolish for sticking with GM so long but I finally made the change. If you are a business owner, don’t expect the same kind of customer loyalty that I gave GM. I urge all small business owners not to get complacent with your customers. Take action BEFORE a problem gets to this point. I hope you learn from this and one last warning; I can ever imagine going back to GM. Can you afford the type of reaction from a former customer? I doubt it.

Have a great week.