February 20, 2011 Sunday, Feb 20 2011 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

So the first month of 2011 is now well behind us and the end of the second is a mere week away…  have you made any adjustments to your marketing strategy from last year?  Remember, the longer you wait to take action, the deeper hole you will find yourself standing in.  Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com.   I also wanted to thank everyone that has gone to our Facebook page and become a fan of Premier Business Operations.

For those of you that have been followers of Premier Business Operations Newsletters, you may recall that I’ve occasionally included information videos, although some have been humorous

In my quest to continue to educate my readers, I found a very insightful video that discusses various reasons for business failure.  (more…)

February 13, 2011 Sunday, Feb 13 2011 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

So the first month of 2011 is behind us…  have you made any adjustments to your marketing strategy from last year?  The longer you wait to take action, the deeper hole you will find yourself standing in.  Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com.   I also wanted to thank everyone that has gone to our Facebook page and become a fan of Premier Business Operations.

This week’s newsletter is a follow-up to the  January 30 newsletter  where I introduced the three lifelong friends Johnny, Bruce and Mike.  (more…)

February 6, 2011 Sunday, Feb 6 2011 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

So the first month of 2011 is behind us…  is your business suffering a post-holiday seasons lull?  Looking for ways to jump start the sales?   The longer you wait to take action, the deeper hole you will find yourself standing in.  Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online on our blog or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website.  I also wanted to thank everyone that has gone to our Facebook page and become a fan of Premier Business OperationsWe now have 200 followers and counting!!!

I came across an interesting video highlighting the marketing strategy that McDonalds undertook with one of their most popular products, the Happy Meal.  What parent hasn’t bought their child a Happy Meal?  Before my own children even were aware of McDonalds, they had heard of the Happy Meal.  So what piqued my interest for this topic?  The creative marketing technique when a company targets the influencers rather than the actual buyers.  In this case, market to the children and the parents will open their wallet. (more…)

January 30, 2011 Sunday, Jan 30 2011 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

So the first month of 2011 is behind us…  is your business suffering a post-holiday seasons lull?  Looking for ways to jump start the sales?   The longer you wait to take action, the deeper hole you will find yourself standing in.  Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com.   I also wanted to thank everyone that has gone to our Facebook page and become a fan of Premier Business Operations.

During some of my numerous conversations during the past couple of weeks, I came across a very interesting business idea that three lifelong friends have come up with; it’s a work in progress so while I can loosely describe it, they haven’t worked through the business plan as of yet.  Remember, businesses rarely succeed without a sound and thoughtful business plan.  (more…)

January 23, 2011 Sunday, Jan 23 2011 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

So the last week of January is upon us.  Have you taken a hard look at your 2010 results?  Making any changes or following the status quo?  Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com.   I also wanted to thank everyone that has gone to our Facebook page and become a fan of Premier Business Operations.

I had a Facebook follower and regular reader of my newsletter send me an email this past week asking me what were some of my favorite business quotes and why.  Obviously, they’ve been reading some of my Facebook posts…  so after a little consideration, I thought I would discuss a few that stand out to me. (more…)

January 2, 2011 Sunday, Jan 2 2011 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

Happy New Year to all!!!  May 2011 be a healthy and prosperous year for everyone, especially those that follow Premier Business Operations.  From everything I’ve been reading it has been a good season for many retailers, so hopefully the economy is starting to look up for many of us.   Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com

Also for all of you Facebook users, you can now find us and like us on Facebook for more regular updates as well as to read contributions by other followers.  Simply search for Premier Business Operations or click the icon…

Since the last newsletter spelled out my ten resolutions for small business owners or entrepreneurs, I thought I would share the following video clip that I came across recently.  It’s actually a roundtable discussion from several business owners and their various experiences in starting their new venture.  (more…)

December 27, 2010 Monday, Dec 27 2010 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas day shared with family and friends.  Hopefully, by now all of the wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags have been cleaned up and your homes are back to normal.  From everything I’ve been reading it has been a good season for many retailers, so hopefully the economy is starting to look up for many of us.   Before I get into this week’s newsletter, I just wanted to remind readers that previous editions can be found online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com.

Since we’re coming to the close of the year, I thought this would be a great opportunity to list my ten resolutions for small business owners or entrepreneurs… (more…)

December 12, 2010 Sunday, Dec 12 2010 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

Before I get too deeply into this week’s newsletter, several readers have asked about previous editions.  You can find these online at https://premierbusinessoperations.wordpress.com/ or alternatively by going to the Premier Business Operations website:  www.premier-business-operations.com.

Hopefully you remember my friend Annie, the enterprising maple syrup entrepreneur.  When we last left Annie, she was struggling with trying to figure out how to make her business profitable.  In a previous newsletter, we helped Annie calculate what the costs of her products were.  Armed with this knowledge, we can now look at other factors that may be involved in determining the price for her 8 oz. bottle of pure maple syrup.

There are many factors that feed into setting a sale price for a product.  While not a comprehensive list, things to consider besides the cost of production include:

  • What are competitor prices?
  • What will the market bare?
  • What overhead costs must be covered?
  • Who is the prototypical customer?
  • What net income do you want to make?

Examining competitor prices, both on the internet and a few retail shops, the average sale price of an 8 oz. bottle of maple syrup was found to be $11.12.  This research covered various regions in the US and specifically in the metropolitan St. Louis area; Annie’s territory to target.   You may recall from a previous newsletter, her cost of production was estimated at $5.13, so it sounds like she may be poised to be profitable if she is willing set an appropriate price on her maple syrup.

The next question for Annie that we’ll cover in this issue was an itemization of her overhead costs; those that are always present whether she sells 0 or 100 bottles.  While not a comprehensive list, here are some of the most prominent and overlooked ones:

  • Site or entry fees for tables or stalls at:  farmers markets, craft fairs, flea markets or other festivals.  She has been going to about 15-20 per year with a guess cost (unfortunately doesn’t have any records or receipts) between $50 and $100 each.  Taking the average of $75, she might spend $1500 per year simply on these site fees.
  • Cost of rent for a commercial kitchen.  The majority of locations that Annie sells her products require the use of a commercial kitchen for food preparation.  She uses these about 4-6 times per year at a cost of $100 each time, for an averaged total of $500.  Again, this is a guess since there are no records.  I think we should address the whole notion of sound record-keeping practices in a future edition of this newsletter.
  • Maintenance, gas and insurance of her truck and travel costs from event to event.  As previous areas, this is a guess since there are no records.  The best we could do was to estimate costs.  Assuming 20 trips for where she sells he products of an average 50 miles round trip, we simply used the IRS rate for 2010 of 50 cents per mile for a total of $500.  To have a more complete picture of this overhead cost, we doubled this amount to cover other errands necessary for the business.
  • Taxes!  No matter what your business, you need to account for The Taxman.  As my father has been saying for years, “the two constants in life are death and taxes”.  Since Annie’s business is an LLC, and her taxes are part of her personal income taxes, a reasonable estimate is the 25% bracket that she and her husband are in plus the Missouri state tax rate of 6%, for a total of 31%.

As before, I left Annie with a little homework assignment as well as a customized spreadsheet to help her calculate the net income of her business.  Hopefully when I visit her next, we’ll have a better picture of revenue, costs and net income of her business.  Using the provided spreadsheet should make her life a lot easier. 

Whether you’re currently a business owner or aspire to be, it’s never too late review the pricing strategy and costs of your business.  Being a small business owner, every dollar matters.  To find out more about Premier Business Operations can help you develop your business plan, please visit our website at www.premier-business-operations.com or contact us at information@premier-business-operations.com

Have a great week…  and don’t forget to keep tabs of your dollars…

December 5, 2010 Saturday, Dec 4 2010 


Welcome to this week’s Premier Business Operations newsletter…

Hopefully everyone has been safe and had fun in their holiday shopping so far.  Can you believe that Christmas is less than 3 weeks away?  For this week’s newsletter, I thought I would take a break from the continuing discussion of the 4Ps and my friend Annie. 

I had the privilege this past week to meet with several aspiring entrepreneurs and spent a little time discussing some ideas they had for a “cool new innovative product”.  One of the most intriguing to me was mentioned by James.  It was simple, but caught my attention mostly because of my sarcastic sense of humor.  Imagine a line of clothing (mostly t-shirts and hats) that were printed with the simple phrase, “What would _________ do?”  In this case, the blank space is meant to be a celebrity or public figure name.  in a matter of a few minutes, we came up with several attention-getting slogans: 

  • “What would W do?”
  • “What would Tiger do?”
  • “What would Paris do?”
  • “What would Butkus do?”

You get the idea.  I have to admit, I was very intrigued and excited.  Of course, James was feeding on my excitement and ready to go.  He was ready to set-up a website, along with ecommerce, etc.  I felt like the true bad guy when I had to bring him back to reality and ask some hard questions:

  • How are you going to advertise it beyond a website?  Are you planning on selling online only?
  • Do you have the financial resources to start this and operate it?  Businesses need access to cash.
  • Do you know any companies to do the t-shirt production?  A second source may be good as well.
  • Who is going to ensure the product is fresh (latest celebs, etc.)?
  • How many people would really be interested in purchasing this apparel?  What is the market?
  • How do you price these?  What is the true product and overhead costs?
  • How are you going to handle distributing the apparel?

These were just my initial questions and reactions.  As you can imagine, there were many others.  After looking James squarely in the eyes I asked him how serious he was about this venture.  Since James has been out of work, with the exception of delivering pizzas to make ends meet, he was desperately looking for an opportunity to get back to his previous upper 5 figure income level and replenish his depleted savings.  So this seemed like a risk worth taking.  I told James, that the most effective way to increase his chances of success was to develop a business plan. 

James and I most of the next day developing a draft of a business plan.  Of course, the mere existence of a plan doesn’t guarantee success, but spending the time critically researching the expected contents of a business plan can go a long way toward achieving that success.

So this week’s message from Premier Business Operations is make sure that you spend the time to research your business idea before jumping into the deep end of the pool without a life guard.  The most effective tool for this is researching and drafting a business plan.  It’s always a good idea to have a second, independent party review your plan.

Whether you’re currently a business owner or aspire to be, it’s never too late to draft a business plan.  As one of my former professors used to say, “don’t have a plan, then get one – FAST!”  To find out more about Premier Business Operations can help you develop your business plan, please visit our website at www.premier-business-operations.com or contact us at information@premier-business-operations.com

Have a great week…  and don’t forget to have a plan.