Business Philosophy

Are You Giving Your Customers Less?

I was in a hotel one morning and as I was putting sugar in my coffee, I came up with the idea for this column. If you read the writings of a frequent contributor of virtually any publication, I bet that one time or another, sooner or later, you wonder how the author continues to come up with ideas for columns, month after month. I’m always thinking. So, for me, I come up with ideas all the time and those ideas are sparked by an infinite array of triggers. This column was triggered by sugar in my coffee.

When I pour coffee into a standard size mug, I put 4 packets of sugar into it as well. I know that I have just made some of you nauseous and some of you are thinking things like; “Hey Don, do you like a little coffee in your sugar” and other such ‘wise guy’ remarks, but bear with me for a minute. I have a point to make.

How to raise your labor cost without really trying.

How to raise your labor cost without really trying.

It seems that this should be a column that I write in the middle of the slow season.  But you are reading this in the middle of the busiest time of year.  This is the time that you’ve looked forward to all year.  Now is when you have the most amount of cash left over at the end of the bills.  But let’s try to learn some lessons from this busy time and perhaps that will translate into real cash savings come the dog days of summer.

Let’s fast-forward into the future, to the summer of 2018.

It’s Not a Mall, It’s a University!

It’s not a Mall, it’s a University.

Some people simply love to go shopping.  It’s a trek to the Mall to look for things that you want more than the money that you have in your pocket, or perhaps will have in your pocket over the next year or two.  I suppose its ok to be like that; its not for me to judge.  But in business, there may be reasons to analyze that a bit more.  In business, the purpose is to generate revenue.  Buying “stuff” just for the purpose of doing so could be counterproductive if that acquisition of “stuff” is more a purchase than an investment.  An investment is something that feels a lot like a purchase, but it has a hidden agenda.  The difference is that when you invest, the intent is that by acquiring this new product, system, method or equipment, you will generate more revenue than you needed to put into it in the first place.  This is not a new concept.  You’ve heard the line; “this will pay for itself in 2 years!” (or some other attractive length of time).  That’s an investment – at least on paper.  But suppose it doesn’t happen?  You bought a new POS because you were promised (or led to believe) that it would prevent theft, increase revenue, assure consistent pricing.  You bought a sandwich legger to double your production, or a double-buck shirt unit for the same reason.  Did you get what you bargained for?  If not, did the man in the mirror do his/her part?  Did you measure?  Did you manage?  Results never happen without that.  Never.

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