Friday, April 18, 2014

The Sales Process - Part 2

This is taking longer than I thought, but here is the second step, plus a graph.

When you have a qualified buyer, you move on to AGREEMENT ON NEED.

It is important that your product, as mentioned elsewhere, is the simplest necessary to gain enough orders from customers to cover the supplier’s minimum in a workable amount of time profitably.

If you overshoot design, then you ran ahead of the customers, but you also make the “test market” too complicated to analyze. If you have Gluten Free, non GMO cake mixes, you are probably fine in a test market.  If you add on “kosher” then you are not sure what feedback is telling you.  Regardless of the sales, good or bad, you have no idea what role “kosher” is playing in customer feedback.  So introduce your value in its basic form, and then add other values.  (Of course if your market is strictly kosher, then “kosher” is not an add-on.)

Not only are you constantly testing, the buyer is also testing, you may have very well have convinced him to test Gluten Free NonGMO cake mixes, but he sees “kosher” adding a variable for which he does not want to control (statistics talk).  So you sold him on gluten free, but he will buy from somewhere else.

“Here is the ice cream scoop.  As you see it has these benefits, and has not only won these awards, but has ever increasing sales.  It allows for delivery of one scoop per second of ice cream to 25% fat content frozen to 12 degrees F at three pounds of pressure.”

They buyer may at this point say, not enough benefit to interest me, “If I am to take yours and dump another, you have to get that down to 5 degrees F. “  At that point you received valuable feedback, and you go back to the drawing board.

Or, the buyer agrees he needs this scoop.

At any point the person with whom you are talking very well may bail out.  If so, they were never a customer.  At any point they do bail out, the process is organic enough for you to know why, in terms of information upon which you can act to improve your product or company or both.  In any event, we are also keen on running off anyone who is not a legitimate buyer, while arriving at the agreement on need.

And note something else, up to this point, there was never any reason to introduce yourself.  if you did, you may have out of politeness, but it was not necessary.  Most likely you were wasting time if you introduced yourself and discovered that you were not speaking to a buyer.  As a matter of efficiency, you should tend not to introduce yourself or anything about your company until you are at the point of “sell the company.”  Not out of any sense of secrecy, just cold, blooded efficiency.  There is an old protocol, you only give a business card to someone with whom you will do business. If you have not agreed to do business together, then why exchange cards?  Respect other’s time...  if they are not going to be a customer, don’t waste their time.  If they cannot be a customer, extricate yourself.

Since the buyers job is to find new products that will advance their mission, you need to make your offer the easiest, most stripped down as possible.  The entire MOQ FOB tactic and tool is devoted to this.  With an offer no legitimate buyer can refuse, you move on, one way of another.

When you have worked out what is being sold and that the buyer needs it at the stipulated price, then you move on to SELL THE COMPANY.

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Another one of the people who gets it consistently right is Marc Faber.  He is quoted here saying...
But according to Faber, consumption doesn’t create a strong economy. ‘Wealth doesn’t come from consumerism, it comes from capital spending,‘ he said.
Well, yes... but to clarify...  capital spending is on capital goods, the jet airliner, the pizza oven, the lawnmower.  Wealth is not the capital good, but what it produces: movement of someone from San Francisco to Shanghai, a pizza, a cut lawn.  Without small business both using up excess production and calling into creation new capital equipement, the economy is all about ripping people off.  That is what we have today, a largely false economy, risible balance sheets, massive misallocation and malinvestment where capital equipment does exist.

The process to achieve this unbalance is called usury, and I guess I will remain the only person pointing this out.  No, although the evil is great, I don't think it should be ooutlawed, because I don't think the state should exist, let alone outlaw anything.  If we in business simply do not recognize loans as anything more than a charitable event, and interest as somethign nonbinding, like a gambling debt, then usury will die.

Faber also knows words, so when he says consumerism, he is speaking in contradistinction to materialism.  USA is consumeristic, while Europe is materialistic.  This is why we have thrift stores and Europe generally does not.  We buy a sweater thinking it is for a season, in Europe they tend to think of a sweater as a long term investment.

Wealth is the array of goods and services which are available to people with their own money.  The more people can afford with their own money, the wealthier the society.  Achieving this can only be through a free market. I do understand that some people think wealth is to what degree few can claim much.  But neither etymology nor common sense is on their side.

And then Faber notes -
China’s massive growth triggered massive commodity export booms in emerging economies. China’s real success was exporting the products it produced back to emerging economies. This has created a significant shift in the global economy: exports from China to emerging countries are higher than exports to the US or Europe.
Just so. As our access to goods and services with our own money dwindles, the rest of the world is emerging under China's aegis, since China offers a better deal than USA to emerging economies.  Privatize the profits, socialize the costs, if it's new tax it, if it keeps moving regulate it, when it stops moving subsidize is.

The most revolutionary act you can make is start a business.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sharia Compliant Business Loans In Seattle!

Along with Bill Gates, I believe Mohammend Yunis does incalculable evil to the poor and marginal worldwide with their evil programs inflicted on the defenseless.  Giving away mosquito nets wipes out the mosquito net dealers, microfinance traps countless people in loans they cannot repay and covenants that destroy their communities.  Is there no end to the assaults on the poor by the rich?

Lending money at interest (usury) is a crime in Islam and Christianity.  Defying Church teaching is not remarkable, something like 94% of Catholics reject the Church teaching on artificial birth control, so if 99% reject the teaching on usury (interest), no big deal.

So my head spins when I see a group form and spontaneously offers loans that are Sharia-compliant and Catholic-compliant.  I suppose what is good and true and beautiful cannot be forever discounted by Church leaders, at some point good will come forth.  It is just too bad no Catholics presented this.  Perhaps when your theology is reduced to Sola Obamacare other matters of faith and morals take a back seat.

The astonishing good thing is here.  I'll be kicking in a "section" for a usury-free loan.  For what?  To whom? Who cares!  Here is a chance to be ethical in business in USA.  Rare!

Now I am pretty sure these lenders will suffer IRS problems since we'll have to declare imputed income  from interest on the loans since the IRS forbids usury free loans, or be liable for failure to declare taxable income.  (And the recipients will be in trouble for undeclared income in the measure they did not pay imputed usury.) My daughters gained scholarships at college and were obliged to pay taxes on the scholarships, since the IRS views scholarships as taxable income. (Imagine a poor family getting a full ride scholarship at Harvard for $60,000 per year, and owe the IRS $20,000 per year for it. In this way we make sure smart poor kids can never get a break in USA, or if they take it, we break their families.)  Under capitalism, even imaginary income is taxed, because capitalism is relentlessly evil in practice.

The economy of the United States has already failed, it is just a matter of time before enough people realize it, and the system collapses.  is an example of things done right, and I hope that enough of this makes it so we can grow something good out of the coming ashes.

Francis Cardinal George of Chicago says he expects to die in bed, his successor die in prison, and his successor executed in the public square.  Sounds about right, but for what?  Will they understand it was for failure to teach the immorality of usury?  And how the acceptance of capitalism, with its heart of usury, brought down the country?  Probably not.  Do you think the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had any idea what they had done wrong?

Cardinal George said he expects a renaissance after that last Cardinal is executed to cheering crowds in Soldier Field.  Renaissance of what?  Resurgent usury-based economy?  Romney/Obamacare? Capitalism?

The free market is essentially ethical.  Usury is unethical.  Out of nowhere comes an ethical capital provider, in essence a bank like what has not been seen for 250 years.  Astonishing.

Encouraging.  ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός!

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The Horrors of IPR Invade Malawi

Here is a PRI story on the music business in Malawi, where the horrors of “Intellectual” “Property” “Rights”  (IPR) crush small artists trying to make a living.
Like many aspiring artists, they were unable to get a professional recording contract, in part because the recording industry in Malawi is small and has been hurt by piracy. So Frank and Miriam paid for studio time and produced two albums on their own. Frank soon began selling the CDs on the street.
Prove "piracy" hurts.  As Patry has pointed out, there is zero evidence in the history of mankind that ”copyright piracy’ hurts anyone.  Further, the term “piracy” applied to people who sell copies of existing works is an outrageous distortion of the circumstances.  To equate rape and murder with selling copies of works is fomenting moral panic where there is none.

IPR is just another rent-seeking scam, and an anagram for PRI.

And Anders Kelto, ace reporter, brings up the topic in an article in which selling copies is not even an issue.  But it is important for regime writers to work every article they are subsidized to write in a way that supports the regime.  (And the article is in essence a rehash of a VOA article from six months earlier.  Funny that a regime writer promoting corporate cronyism and decrying "piracy" is rather unoriginal, to say the least.  But he who pays the piper calls the tune, and what better way to meet PRIs editorial standards than rehash VOA stories.)

So what happens in Malawi when you create your own work, record your own work, and then offer it for sale?
“One day, the police came and said, ‘No, you should leave this place, or else we will confiscate your music,’” Kuseni said.The problem was that his CDs didn’t have a silver hologram — the official insignia that proves they aren’t counterfeit. Kuseni was taken aback. “I said [to the police,] ‘I am the musician, I produced it, why should I have a hologram?’”But the police officers insisted that he stop selling on the street. So he complied.
Western capitalism destroys you.  A hologram proves nothing, since knocking off holograms is no trouble at all.  The problem is some Malawian graduate of Harvard Business School has a sinecure making 15 cents a pop on every hologram required.  In this way USA extends the horrors of capitalism to the farthest reaches of the world.

One of the benefits to being in the 3rd world was IPR fascists did not bother extending their "rights" into such countries, so as is always the case, IPR-free regimes could enjoy free market economic development.  Not any more.  Time to run down every penny possible, no matter who gets crushed.

You can see why Pol Pot resorted to killing all Western trained Cambodians.  I don’t agree with the tactic, but one can understand how such extreme pressure from the West provokes such extreme responses.
Kamanga said he has great sympathy for struggling artists like the Kusenis.“To sell his own music, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Kamanga said. “But to sell it without the hologram — the law says it’s illegal.”
As they say, if the law says that, then the law is an ass.
To understand why, Kamanga said, look at it from a law enforcement standpoint. How do the police know that the person selling music on the street is actually the artist?
Pity the poor law enforcement officers.  The fascist paramount concern is what is best for law enforcement.  Never mind what works for the artist.  As the USGovt said in Vietnam, we must destroy the village to save it.
There are just too many ways to cheat artists out of profits, Kamanga said. So the solution is for everyone who sells music to register and pay for the hologram.
Well Kamaga would say that, wouldn't he?  The solution is he gets paid! It is a huge mistake to believe your own PR.  There is no possible way to cheat artists out of profits, except by violating terms in a contract.  No contracts, no cheating.  Listen to artists in Malawi who have contracts with hologram-compliant peddlers.  They are being cheated.  Even the VOA article claims piracy is the problem in spite of the fact the problem is with the hologram peddlers:
Fingers have long been pointed at music distributors - middle men who sell the music on behalf of the artists. The musicians accuse the distributors of making copies for personal gain, an allegation distributors have persistently denied.
Frank Zappa talks about this in his autobiography, getting cheated by the record companies.  The things your best and brightest learn when taxpayers send them from Malawi to Harvard Business School!  The solution to artists being ripped off by the hologram scam is to enforce the hologram scam.  

So if you do not want to be cheated, and just sell for yourself, no, not allowed.
So Frank and his wife decided on another strategy. Every Sunday, they perform gospel music at one of the many churches in Lilongwe. After the service, they sell their CDs — without the hologram.Frank said sales have been good. And, so far, the authorities haven’t confronted them. “The city officials don’t go [on church grounds] to chase us,” he said. “I think that those places are out of bounds.”
Until freedom begins to hurt the fascists. As usual, productive members of society are obliged to work around the parastical rent-seekers.  All over the world people are pushing back.  As things break down in Greece and the Ukraine and Wenzhou and Nevada, they'll break down all at once.  We need to know what freedom is like so we can install that, and not what is worse than we have now.
Law-breaking Gospel Artists. Malawi - where to sell your own recordings you have to comply with rules from USA, or you are criminal.

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How About Neither?

Why should anyone be prevented from buying stocks on another exchange? Finally Hong Kong and Shanghai have reciprocal agreements.
Those are good reasons to applaud the mutual recognition agreement, as it is more properly called. There is a potential downside, however, to what is essentially a back-door listing of the entire Shanghai market in Hong Kong. It's a question asked in many spheres beside finance: Will Hong Kong pull Chinese standards up, or will China drag Hong Kong down?
False dilemma.  It will be neither.  You can buy both Prada shoes or handmade shoes in Hong Kong.  Neither effects the others standards.

The only change is now consumers have a choice.  Good for Hong Kong,

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

World Trade Trends

Take a look at the last twelve months...  looks like the previous twelve months... pretty steady.

Goods and Services Deficit Decreases in November 2013

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U C Berkeley Import Start Up Seminar


This is the seminar to put in the "educational benefit request" at work and fly into San Francisco for an all-day start-up boot camp.  You fly in Sunday which shows the boss how sincere you are about bringing new market penetration tactics into the business. The one day course earns UCBerkeley CEUs,  and you get a certificate with a UCBerkeley Logo.  Put that cert on your wall at work. Of course it is open to everyone, and I stick around after class to answer questions.

Mon 8:30AM - 5:00PM
12 May 2014
UC Berkeley Extension Downtown Center
Classroom 817
San Francisco

As an alternative, the course fee is tax deductible since it advances you self-employment efforts.  Either way, this course is very hands on.  People who complete the one-day course have access to me as they proceed.  Sign up now, space is limited.

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Burke On Change

This television series greatly influenced me as to competing on design....  this episode in particular was a revelation.  When you have 50 minutes, give it a view

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Closing Stores

A previous post on retail sales in USA prompted the observation that if so many stores are closing, why are sales dropping?

As of 2005 annual store sales in the range of $300 per square foot ($3,000/m²) is considered a respectable result in the United States as the national average for regional malls is $341 per square foot,[1] but the target number depends on the location, the type of store and other factors. For example, the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas sets a precedent for Las Vegas stores. The location has the highest sales per square foot of any mall in the nation at approximately $1,300 per square foot.[1] The average for specialty apparel retailers, for instance, is $400 per square foot ($3,000/m²), and according to Baseline Magazine the retailer Hot Topic achieves an annual $619 per square foot ($6,660/m²).
According to industry research firm RetailSails, Apple has the highest sales per square foot, with average in all their stores of $6,050 per square foot annually.[2]

So,  if an average is $300, an Apple store at $6000 can equal 20 other similar sized stores closing.  The first Apple store opened in 2001, and now there are 408 total, with over 250 in USA.  So 20 time 250 means Apple would make up for 5000 other stores closing.

This is just a shift in consumer preference.  Whereas once people enjoyed nice clothes, housewares, paper, rugs, and other soft goods, they now prefer to stare into an iPhone screen.

If the internet goes down, on some sort of Target/Heartbleed thing, whole lotta bored people will start looking around their drab surroundings and see they need a tailor.

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Start-up Seminar Portland Community College

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area I have an all-day importing start-up as follows...  get it all in one day in this intense seminar.
27386Sylvania Campus / HT / 32209:00 AM-04:50 PMSa26-Apr-2014 thru 26-Apr-2014
Instructor: John W Spiers
Notes: One hour lunch break.
Tuition: $79.00 Fees: $0.00 

Click here for more information...

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