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Growing a Business is Like Growing a Garden

9 Nov

2012 has been a wonderful year to grow a garden in Northern Nevada.  The weather has cooperated with one of the longest growing seasons on record.. It almost seemed that I could put a stick in the ground and it would grow and produce food.My garden produced record amounts of food. The plants were strong and healthy. Bug and pest damage was a minimum. I weighed over a ton of food from our small gardens this year.

I have grown gardens in Norther Nevada in past years and it was a struggle: late and early frosts, hail,  bugs, and weak plants.  What made this year so different?

In retrospect, it was a discussion with my wife, Bobbie, at the end of the growing season that had a lot to do with this year’s success. The discussion went something like this, “Not going to grow a garden again!” Bobbie replied,” It’s your own damn fault. You go out wherever there is an open spot, turn it over and stick some seeds in. Once in a while you think to water and if I remind you you might remove the weeds. Then you expect some kind of wonderful crop. You didn’t develop and run businesses that way. Why would you expect the garden to grow with any less thought and work than you put into your business?” Reply,” Yes Dear”.

Well Bobbie doesn’t cut me much slack but it made me think.  She’s right. Growing a garden requires the same skill sets as developing a business which I have done successfully many times.

I will explain what I did to contribute to the success of the garden this year and I’d like to explore the similarities and discuss the perceived differences of growing a garden vs growing a business Imagein future discussions.  Please share your thoughts

 

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Growing Mobile Travel Marketing

4 Nov

TOPOSOPHY

Travel apps are leading industries in usage growth at the same time that travel companies are digging deeper into mobile app development as they aim to connect with consumers at all points during the travel journey, according to the latest survey results. Services that support everything travelers are doing during the entire travel experience cycle, from planning to booking to sharing their experiences.

These efforts are getting consumers’ attention. A May 2012 Nielsen study, “Courting Today’s Mobile Consumer,” showed that in the US travel apps were seeing the highest year-over-year growth of any industry or product-related app category, at 116%, well above the growth in overall mobile app use (84%).

Travelers are showing a penchant for using their phones to do more than simply complete an on-the-go booking. For example, comScore’s “Mobile Travel Advisor” survey from February 2012 showed that US travelers were often using their smartphones for mobile…

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Is Your Destination Truly Accessible?

4 Nov

TOPOSOPHY

New global competitive survey results show that 43% of international tourists with special needs are complaining during their stay.

Are destinations and tourism businesses truly efficient in welcoming tourists with special needs?

Based on its reference global benchmarking survey TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index, TCI Research reports that nearly half of international tourists with special needs traveling in the world have been in a situation to complain following to a negative experience during their stay. This percentage is almost twice as high as for average tourists.

Areas of complaint mostly focus on accommodation and transportation at destinations, generating also more negative experiences related to safety and health.

The survey also reports quite significant discrepancies in quality performances according to the destination visited.

TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud comments: “Many destinations and hotels promote “tourism for all” as part of their social responsibility agenda; however the challenge for improving experience in ground…

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Customer Service…..Really?

18 Dec

What is Customer Service?  To the kid at McDonalds, service is taking an order and handing back a fist full of change. Everyone’s idea is somewhat different. Better service for me would have been to count the change back to me. To the person behind me,  counting back the change is delaying his service. However, I had an experience this past week that “All” can agree was service above and beyond. While driving en route to an appointment in Santa Rosa, a noise appeared in the rear of my Chevy and the brakes became less effective. I drove straight to the Chevy dealer in Sonoma. I explained that I had an important appointment in Santa Rosa and asked if my problem could come ahead of those they were working on. No Problem. They immediately put the car on the lift and found that the brake spring had come loose, damaged the drum.  New drum and brakes had to be installed. Now the Problem.  They didn’t have the parts and they would have to be shipped from another dealer in the Bay Area.  WoW…the clock is ticking……How do I make that appointment?  I’ve driven all the way from Reno and I’m going to lose the opportunity! Before I go on, I must confess that I am really hard on the younger generation with their ear rings, tattoos and what I consider their “No Service Attitude”. The service writer, “Kid”, visually appeared to fit my mental stereotype, young, ear rings, tattoos, and a ball cap worn backwards.  In Sonoma, so close to Santa Rosa, and stuck! But wait.  The “Kid” volunteered, “Mr. Lippincott, I can see how upset you are and we normally have those parts in stock. Would you mind if I went to my manager and asked him to loan you a car? Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather…..Sure…….and when he came back and said to pick any car on the used car lot, I was blown away. I explained that I had to continue on to San Francisco and he replied, “no problem and why not come back tomorrow which will give us more time”.  Now that’s what I call customer service…..on the part of the “Kid” and his employer.  My attitude towards the “Kid’s” generation has softened as a result…….but dam it wear your hat with the bill forward!

 

 

 

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