DASM: Why Not Just Burn Your Money?

A sandwich shop franchise is usually between $200,000 and $400,000. The sandwiches are probably about $7 on average, and with drinks and chips figure about $10. If salaries, taxes, benefits, rents, utilities, insurance, supplies and so forth cost another $300,000, let’s say that’s a $600,000 total investment the first year (the franchise fee has to be funded somehow, even if by loan). That means you’d have to sell 60,000 sandwiches to pay that bill, or at least 30,000 to pay the …


See, It’s Called “Profit” and the Opposite is “Loss”

Many years ago my wife started a small business creating customer-designed exercise outfits and accessories. At one point she brought me a small piece of artwork she had been working on for an entire day. “Do you like it?” she asked. “I do,” I said, “how much will you sell it for?” “Two dollars,” she decided. “Houston, we have a problem,” I said. I’ve written in this space before about a Jersey Mike’s franchise that has good sandwiches, but the …



A Case for A SWAT Team?

On the outskirts of Providence, right next to Interstate 95, is a giant blue bug on the roof of an exterminating company. It’s a termite, 427,000 times larger than life. (I am not making this up.) The company which was once called something like “New England Exterminating”  officially changed its name to Big Blue Bug Exterminating. Traffic reporters use it as a landmark (congestion around the Big Blue Bug) and when Interstate 195 was rerouted at a cost of tens …


The Pain of the Dentist

I visit every four months. I haven’t had a cavity in ten years, my gums are in good shape, and thanks to the wonders of cosmetic dentistry, I have very straight, white teeth, which my parents couldn’t afford to provide way back when. Yet, there apparently is no business input into dental office management or experiences.   The receptionist doesn’t greet you kindly, simply says, “Okay, take a seat.” The appointment starts slightly late, no one apologizes or acknowledges it. …


Would You Like Your Coffee Black and Blue?

A critical trait for success is flexibility.  When I see a Starbucks fanatic who can’t start the day with any other coffee, and/or who brings it into a restaurant to order breakfast there, or into a meeting or someone’s home where coffee is available, I know I’m just staring at an affectation.  And I’m thinking that same person is going to tell a prospect that his or her consulting or coaching model requires seven sequential steps that can’t be changed. …


If You’re Proclaiming Good Health, Why Are You Driving Like A Moron?

I don’t know why, but I’ve started thinking about bumper stickers. It’s rare to find a car with just one. They usually come in multiple postings, ranging from politics to health food, from sports teams to mystical affirmations. It seems to me that the drivers feel obligated to inform the rest of the world of their positions. I think they do so because they feel otherwise powerless. So this is the way they impress themselves on the world. Their only …


Excuse Me, Where’s That Chicken From?

There’s pragmatism, and then there’s taste. When we use FedEx or Google as a verb (FedEx the check) we do so because the Google search mechanism and the FedEx overnight network are better than anything else around. However, when people say “It’s Miller time,” or “Weekends were made for Michelob,” they often then conclude with, “So let’s get a Bud”! The product has to have a unique advantage, not just try to appeal to certain tastes. A blind taste test …


How A Rodent Provided My IP

A squirrel was looking at me through the window from a tree this morning, about three floors off the ground. It was perfectly safe from most predators in the evergreen, and fairly sheltered, but it would have to go down on the ground and take some risks in order to eat. A few minutes later, it was gone. The same applies to you and me. If I merely stayed at home I’d eventually exhaust the food supplies and have to …


I Don’t Dance (Don’t Ask Me)

At times you’ll be asked dumb questions. Don’t attempt to honor them (or prolong them) with a rational response. Don’t dance to their music. Point out the absurdity and move on. Examples: • How many firms exactly like ours have you worked with? That’s not the point, the point is that my clients all achieve great success across all industries. • What was your education like? I’m sure like yours, I found it only helped when I applied it to …