Smart Partnering

Today’s post is inspired by Loren Fogelman.

I’ve gotten to know Loren over the last 4+ years and am so glad for the relationship. She’s sharp, well spoken and focused. She’s taught me a lot – both incidentally and on purpose – and I was flattered and pleased to be invited by her to collaborate on a professional education series.

Loren sharing her magic at a recent workshop on Vision.

Loren sharing her magic at a recent workshop on Vision.

With 2 down, 1 to go and more in planning, here’s what I can tell you about well matched partnerships.

  1. There’s no ego involved. We both want the others’ success and know ours will come with it.
  2. They are focused on the guests, end goals, and bigger picture and possibilities.
  3. They’re big positive thinkers.
  4. They help you learn, challenge you helpfully, and are complementary to you.
  5. You bring all the same to them.

I’d encourage you to visit her site, read her book (I’ve got my autographed copy, highlighter and pencil handy while reading), and consider her services.

FYI – we’re happy to take the show on the road. Contact me to hire us to give your company and groups the high value education like this Lunch and Learn.

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Creativity = Business Success

How do beer and chocolate go together? What’s the business element? How do you combine seemingly unrelated ideas productively?

Check this out:

Go connect some dots.

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What Brings Someone In The Door?

When you think about what compels you to enter any business or organization do you ever stop and smell the hinges: What Brings Me Here?

Which doors are compelling?

Which doors are compelling?

No matter what business you are in, you must always be thinking of that consideration from your patrons standpoint. Why should they/do they/do they need to come in your doors? What is it about what they need or want that you can help them with? Why do they choose you over another option?

Anyone can open a business, simplistically speaking. It’s straight forward thing to do. Doing business well will be another topic for another time.

So once the doors are open, how do you make those doors attractive? The same question begs asking whether in person or online.

Continually evaluate:

  1. Are our doors attractive?
  2. Why?
  3. Why not?
  4. What can and should we do to keep people coming to and in our doors?
  5. What keeps people from entering our doors?
  6. Repeat.

Knowing this information – which is not hard to garner by the way – is in the Pretty Darn Important category for running any successful operation.

What do your doors looks like? Will they walk in or not? Which ones will you walk through today? Which ones will you avoid?

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Opening the Flood Gates

I love new clients.

Let me expand and quantify: I love clients who are the ones that have the correct perspective in mind when it comes to women. Here’s what sets it off:

1. They understand  that women are the primary buyers.

2. They want to correctly address that segment of the population and market to gain their business.

3. They know they need to do address them with full respect utilizing specialists to do so.

4. They understand that specialists can offer a great deal of assistance and therefore progress of their vision and brand to do so.

5. The investment to them is welcome, since they know it’s not their area of strength.

6. They get to the point, they’re open and honest, the philosophy is clear and they’re ready to roll.

7. They’re putting the piece of business called marketing in equal measure with the other aspects of the business.

8. They may not entirely understand what we can ‘do’ together, yet they are confident in hiring us as the leader of independent women and beer research and that has the value they’re looking for.

9. They take smart calculated risk. Risk = thought out. Chance = luck, for better or worse.

10. They take the plan seriously, but not themselves too much – they can see humor, share the information we need to best serve them, and hold us as an equal partner in our work together.

11. They want us to open the floodgates that properly addressing the worlds largest buying population can offer, done right to the ultimate benefit of women and men everywhere.

Well matched partners grow together.

Well matched partners grow together.

Today’s post is inspired by a recently engaged client who is all of these things. It’s not only fun at this point to work with and for them, more importantly it’s meaningful, exercises the years of qualitative research we’ve gathered and it matters.

We won’t work with just anyone. We want to work with people who have a vision, a business mind-set, a passion for their category (be it beer or otherwise), and are capitalized to be able to execute the plan.

So thank you today to this new client and thank you to past clients who’ve seen the value and opportunity in hiring us. It’s our goal to be a partner with our clients. The ‘right’ ones make that part come together easily and quickly.

If this post describes you and you’re ready to tap into our knowledge of women + beer to improve your operations, call me. I stand at the ready.

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Business and Life Vests: Plane/ing Ahead

It struck me while I was on the flight home this week from a presenting engagement that running a business is a lot like flying.

Why do you want to fly?

What plane/path do you intend to chart?


What’s in it for the people you supposedly want to serve?

What’s in it for you?

What's the view from 20,000 feet up?

What’s the view from 20,000 feet up?

Do you have a flight/plan?

Will you build the plane/business yourself or buy a pre-made one? Why?

What tools do you need on board to execute properly, safely, successfully?

Who else is in the office/on the plane?

Why are they involved?

Who’s going to tell everyone about your business/plane?

Who’s going to qualify the potential customers you want to sit on your plane?

What’s the view up from the ground? What about from 20K, 30K, 50K feet up?

Who else is either at the airport already or off and flying?

Who’s docked their plane/business and why?

Where can you get spare parts to build your business/plane?

What kind of ongoing pilot/business education are you providing for yourself and crew?

Do you really need snacks or simply want them?

What extras does your plane/business afford that others do not and why?

Where are the life vests and oxygen masks?

Do you have a parachute?

Who’s on the ground helping you?

Having solid responses to these questions is important. If you can plan, build, fly, land, and repeat while continually evaluating and tweaking for improvement with an eye on the end customer you serve, go for it. Some answers will be obvious immediately. Some will develop. Be comfortable with not knowing the less critical aspects. Be sure to have solid answers for the ones that can fly or crash your efforts.

Simply wanting to fly – or open and run a business – isn’t enough and never has been, nor will it ever be enough. Dumb luck is just that – dumb. Be smart. Fortune and success not only favor the bold, they favor the smart.

There’s no such thing as a ‘small’ business when it’s your entire life you’re putting into it. Plan/e ahead.

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Return The Favor

“If we make our customers important, they will inevitably return the favor.” – D. Ward

  • What do you feel you offer customers?
  • What do you feel you get back?
  • Is it all tangible? Is it some intangible?

The only way I’d change that quote to be more proactive is to replace the “If” with “When.”

If the If is still just that – an “if” – then you need to rethink what it is you both have to offer and what you expect to get in return.

Not all returns are tangible, and not all are intangible. It’s a miasma of both. You have to know what your threshold of the intangibles is as well as what your threshold for tangibles is as well to keep your doors open.

It’s time to look at the favors you do for your customers. And then what favors are returned. It’s the return due to a smart forward thinking plan (anticipating and planning for the desired return) that will guide you to the in/tangibles.

Don’t get it? Call me.

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Great Friends

Doug, Steve & Larry

Doug, Steve & Larry

Here we are – about 3400 of us (record year) – at the Craft Brewers Conference. Breathe it in – it feels GREAT!

It’s the annual craft beer industry gathering – full of seminars, conversations, great people, quality beer, opportunity and fun.

Last year I had the pleasure of addressing the group ala What About The Other 50%?! Developing And Serving The Female Beer Enthusiast. It’s fun to hear from people at the conference this year, whom I met last year, commenting on having attended my session.

The BA does a super job at picking presenters and I did not make the pool of speakers this year. Sigh. Nonetheless, I’ll try again next year. And I did get a media pass – which means I have tons to share to help spread the education forward (and for which I am very grateful).

So onto another big day of learning, meeting, reconnecting and building new relationships.

Cheers from Chicago!

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What "Supporting Your Local Brewery" Means

It means:

  • Employment
  • Community spirit
  • Economic Productivity
  • Locally invested business
  • Complementary businesses in suppliers and vendors
  • Independent entrepreneurial folks
  • Working where you live
  • Choices
  • Fun, engaged people doing good honest business

Go local.

Read this.

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