The Barefoot Spirit https://thebarefootspirit.com Founders of Barefoot, a Top Global Brand New York Times Bestselling Authors International Keynote Speakers, Entrepreneurial Coaches. Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:51:21 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Work with Your Community to Create Advocates https://thebarefootspirit.com/work-with-your-community-to-create-advocates/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/work-with-your-community-to-create-advocates/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 17:00:26 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14855 Every time we speak, it never fails that at least one member of the audience comes up and asks, “I’m just a start up, I’m on a very limited budget. How can I afford to advertise and get the word out about my goods and services?”

Almost everyone in the audience is looking for ways to save money in their new or developing business. They’re all looking for the most bang for their buck in every area of spending. Marketing your products and services are probably the biggest challenges new business face. It doesn’t matter how good your products and services are if your customer doesn’t know about them.

When we started Barefoot Wine, we were completely undercapitalized. Our first big chain buyer asked us if we were going to spend $200,000 in an advertising campaign to build our brand before he would take it in to his stores. We were so strapped, we didn’t even have one of those $200,000. He then basically turned us down and for good reason, our brand was unheard of, and he would be taking a big risk giving expensive shelf space to an unknown and unproven brand.

He told us that without a well-funded advertising campaign he wouldn’t touch it …and no other chain or box store would either, for that matter. He said, without advertising we would have to focus on selling the independently owned stores one at a time. We told him, “That will take years! He said, “You’re right! You better get started!” He did say that once we became a household word, he would put us in to his 200+ store chain. Well it took 2 years, and yes, he did put us in. His was the first large chain store in the country to take us.

But we didn’t become a “household word” through commercial advertising. And we didn’t become a “household word” throughout the country at first. We became a household word only in California and we did it through support for the community from which our customers came. You see, the independents were no different than the chains. They didn’t want to take a chance on an unknown brand that wasn’t being commercially advertised. In fact, they threaten to discontinue Barefoot if it didn’t sell within 90 days. And we only had a handful of accounts that would even take that chance to begin with.

It was during that first in 90 days that we got a call from a nonprofit community organization asking us to support their kids-after-school park. Once again, we had no money. But we did have wine! We donated wine to their fundraiser. The next month we noticed a big uptick in sales in the stores in that particular community. Without knowing it at the time, we had given the members of that organization a social reason to buy our product. They also felt obligated to tell their friends colleagues and families to go out and buy it as well.

We thought, “Wow! Maybe we’ve discovered something here! Maybe this is an alternative to expensive commercial advertising. Maybe it’s more effective simply because it’s more locally targeted. “Members of the organization lived in the neighborhoods surrounding the stores where our products were for sale. Then we thought, let’s try this in another market, only this time we asked for a few concessions that the nonprofit could readily provide. They mentioned us in their newsletter, they thanked is from the podium, they let us put up banners, they let us put out lists of where to buy our products at their fundraiser, they let us write posts in their newsletter, they used our logo and let us use theirs.

These were not big national organizations looking for a paid sponsorship. These were just little community organizations, but they were made up of potential customers. Why shouldn’t we support our potential customers?

As Ivan Meisner says, “When it comes to networking, take off the bib and put on the apron!” This approach to getting the word out ,which we called Worthy Cause Marketing, was so effective that as we expanded Barefoot into other states, regions, and even countries, we got the word out by supporting local communities and their worthy causes.

Already we can hear the objection, “Well it was easy for you. You are selling wine, but how does that work for me with my product and services?” At a local Chamber of Commerce meeting we met a gentleman who was practicing Worthy Cause Marketing to get the word out about his services. What was he selling? Gun safety! He found that he could support parent-teacher associations, as well as police and sheriffs associations by offering free classes as a silent auction item during their fundraising dinners. Association members saw his support for their cause. Some members bought and used the silent auction classes. They came back and recommended his classes to all the other members.

One of the great advantages of working with community organizations is that they are already networked! They are already communicating. And they are local to where your goods and services are for sale. Offering them free goods and services to support their causes as well as helping them get the word out about their goals and fundraisers will endear you and your products to their members. You become part of their organization and a supporter of the causes they hold dear. Of course, they want to support you in the marketplace.

You will not only show the world that you stand for more than the mercantile value of your goods and services, but that you support the causes that are important to your customers. It’s not only a great contribution for your company to make to your community, but in the long run, it’s the cheapest form of advertising!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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3 Lessons to Vitalize Your Business! https://thebarefootspirit.com/3-lessons-to-vitalize-your-business/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/3-lessons-to-vitalize-your-business/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 17:08:38 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14817 We recently had the honor of the opening keynote for the Alaska Small Business Development Center’s first annual Vitalize Alaska Conference. The conference was the brain child of Jon Bittner their new Executive Director. He wanted to encourage and inspire innovation and business development in the new frontier. Over 300 small and medium sized business owners attended.

The conference was held in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, but still under 300,000. The state is much bigger in area than Texas but lacks the infrastructure we take for granted in the lower 48. As you can imagine, the winters are harsh, and the people are stalwart.

While most of the rest of the country enjoys a booming economy, Alaska suffers from a recession, brought on by the collapse of oil prices in an oil producing state. Needless to say, they have to find a new path economically and so they are turning to entrepreneurship.

What could we possibly bring to the table that would help them in their challenge? What could we bring that would have a universal and positive impact on those folks who now face raising themselves up by their own bootstraps? We looked at our own bootstrap experience and discovered three practical lessons we could share:

1. Follow Your Opportunity …Passionately!

You often hear, “Follow your passion!” It seems to make sense on its face, since we all need that drive and tenacity that comes naturally when we follow our passion. But you can follow your passion right into the poor house if you are not fortunate enough to have a passion that is in great economic demand.

We followed our opportunity, passionately. The chances are greater that opportunities, not necessarily in your passion, will present themselves more often. We found we didn’t have to give up on our passions to seize the opportunity we were presented with. As a matter of fact, we found many creative ways to use and incorporate our passions into our mercantile business, not the least of which was Worthy Cause Marketing.

We saved a bundle on commercial advertising by supporting worthy causes we were passionate about. We wanted to give the members of those causes a social reason to discover, buy, and advocate our products. This can work in Alaska!

2. Use your Hidden Assets and Resources.

The VC’s have brainwashed most startups and small businesses into believing that the only way to success is secure a big investment, go through a burn rate, scale fast, and fail fast. If you are playing a numbers game, then you only need one unicorn in 10 if you expect a 10X return. Forbes, the SBA, and others all agree that still, today, 9 out of 10 new businesses fail. ‘Sounds like they are indeed failing fast.

But what if you don’t get a big investor and don’t have the luxury of a big burn rate? If you are like most of us, you don’t! So now we are talking cash flow management. And the secret to cash flow management is reducing your need for cash and growing slowly, but surely!

One hidden asset we had was our top supplier. Outside of product (wine), our biggest need was packaging materials (glass, corks, closures, labels and cartons). Because we were a low priced product with high volume, we would use more of these materials than any of our supply company’s other customers. We certainly let them know this, but we didn’t stop there.

We met with them quarterly to share our growth plans. We negotiated a long term contract. We let them know ahead of time when we couldn’t make our payments. And we gave them a catch up plan that would bring out account current. Over time, we were able to gain extended credit and terms that saved us from borrowing the money or worse, trading equity for it.

Treating your suppliers as partners to save money can work in Alaska!

3. Put Your Self in the Other Guy’s Shoes.

You hear this all the time. It basically the golden rule. But just how does that translate into practice in the business world? And why does it remove obstacles and speed the processes you rely upon?

We found 7 distinct people we had to sell in order to get our product to market. They each wanted something different. Surprisingly, most of them were interested in something else entirely beside “The best wine and the best price” (our slogan).

For instance, our own people wanted income, acknowledgement, time off, and a company that stood for more that its product. The ownership of our distributers wanted a strategic advantage with a powerful retailer who wanted our product. The distributer’s sales managers wanted to make their numbers. The sales people wanted to make their commissions. The retailers wanted a proven product with excellent customer service. The store clerks wanted to feel important, so they would recommend and reorder our products. Only the consumer really cared about the wine or the price!

But discovering and delivering what each person in the chain wanted (and not what we thought they wanted) was the key to our success. This can work in Alaska, or, for that matter, anywhere.

We admire the spirit of the Alaska, and hope these lessons help vitalize their recovery!

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Trade Wars Hurt Business! Period. https://thebarefootspirit.com/trade-wars-hurt-business-period/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/trade-wars-hurt-business-period/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 17:00:42 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14803 We used to think it was only common sense that the consumer would always bear the brunt of higher prices cause by any trade wars. But we guess we were wrong. We guess we have to learn that one all over again. In these days of high tech memory devises, why can’t we seem to remember this historical fact? Tariffs on both sides of a trade war always result in lost jobs, closed businesses, and higher prices.

What’s more, they tend to export jobs as businesses reliant on supplies from countries now facing an import tax, simply move to another country where they can get those supplies free of tariffs. Further, exporters tend to move out of the country, so they don’t have to pay retaliatory taxes put in place by the country they were exporting to. Net result, loss of jobs.

The companies that remain must raise their prices to pay the tariffs on the imported products they need to manufacture their finished products. Two things happen. First, their customers pay a higher price and order less, and second, foreign competitors move into the space with finished products. Net result, loss of business for domestic companies, loss of domestic jobs, and higher prices for domestic consumers. Bad news all the way around.

Trade wars may start out “tit for tat’ but when one side has a trade surplus, they have no choice but to escalate into other areas of business. American business ventures in the country with the surplus are now subject to “punishment.” The comes in the form of denied licenses, and other entitlements, restrictions on removal of funds, and subjection to heavy scrutiny with massive inspections, fines, and closures.

“But what about all the unfair trade practices the other side has been using against us?” many will ask. “How else can you get their attention?’ some may argue. And that’s it! “How else?” Let’s find another way through diplomacy or trade advantages to make cheating not worth their while. This current, simpleminded and archaic approach is destined for failure. Nobody wins. Certainly not American business and absolutely not the American consumer.

You have to remember, the reason today’s goods are so affordable, and one of the reasons American’s have such a high standard of living, is the fact that the lowest prices in labor and materials are incorporated in those goods.

Also, one of the reason’s American’s enjoy some degree of security is that, even though our top trading partner has nukes and expansionist aspirations, we are still its top trading partner. They need us to be healthy, wealthy, and intact. In other words, trade is the foundation for peace, and peace is the foundation for security, business, employment, and a higher standard of living.

“But what about all the jobs that have been lost?” some would ask. Consider all the jobs that have been created? Sure, they may be in different industries, and sure, they may require different skills, but America is still the leading exporter of information technology and agriculture to name a few. We can’t bring back the horse and buggy to save the buggy whip maker’s job. But we did offer those whip makers jobs in the auto industry.

Americans have always been inventors, creators, and disruptors. They are especially skilled at new applications, new products, and new solutions. Our consumers deserve the best prices in the world. Our startups deserve the lowest prices on the materials they need to build those new businesses domestically and keep them here.

Let’s not start pulling plugs before we know what light they keep on. Let’s not relearn the lessons from the last trade war where nobody won!

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Whatever Business You Think You’re in, Your Employees Should Be Oriented on Your Customers https://thebarefootspirit.com/whatever-business-you-think-youre-in-your-employees-should-be-oriented-on-your-customers/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/whatever-business-you-think-youre-in-your-employees-should-be-oriented-on-your-customers/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 22:02:23 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14797 We recently had the pleasure of spending the day with 65 MBA students from Nanyang University in Singapore.

Twenty-five percent of the class were part-time students who were already running their own businesses. They asked most of the questions because they obviously had the most immediate concerns.

One question that was particularly telling was, “How do you to get the most out of your employees?”

We’ve given many talks and worked with many companies on this issue, plus we have our own experience building the Barefoot Wine Brand. We had virtually no turnover during the last several years before we were acquired. These were also the same years that the brand made leaps and bounds in the marketplace and overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Most of those solutions came from our own people.

To read the complete article, please visit The Business Journals 

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Why You Need to be Thinking About Exiting Your Business (Even If You’re Never Going to Sell) https://thebarefootspirit.com/why-you-need-to-be-thinking-about-exiting-your-business-even-if-youre-never-going-to-sell/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/why-you-need-to-be-thinking-about-exiting-your-business-even-if-youre-never-going-to-sell/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 17:00:24 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14791 We often hear business owners say, “I don’t need to think about an exit strategy because I’m not going to sell my business anyway.” But they do! And here’s why: Your potential acquirer’s due diligence is the perfect way to organize your files. Period.

What kind of documents would you want to see if you were buying a business? Certainly, you’d want to make sure you didn’t get sued by any undisclosed or unsettled disputes. You’d want to know that you wouldn’t be closed down because you didn’t have the correct licenses and permits, or that they weren’t up to date. You’d want to protect your self from buyers who might claim better pricing and terms from the former owner.

What kind of records would you want to see? How about the monthly and annual sales history from the beginning? How about the chart of accounts? How about the individual sales history for every customer? How about any and all sales contracts and agreements, formal or in correspondence? And How about all of their personnel records and all their vendor and supplier contracts just to name a few? You must protect yourself!

As you can see, you need all this stuff to operate your own business anyway, but there’s more! When we sold our business, we were surprised by a few requests that caught us off guard, and, if we had thought about it, we realy should have had those items at the ready.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the acquirer’s request for legal sign offs for any and all art work, like logo’s, labels, advertising materials, trade dress, and any other custom art to help sell our business or our products. We though that the fact that we had hired the artists and paid them was enough. No. They wanted to protect themselves, and rightfully so, from any artist coming back and claiming ownership and exacting a big payment later. This was especially true of the label design.

Another big surprise was the disclosures. Ironically, these were to protect usfrom anything that could come up later that we hadn’t divulged. Well, in 20 years of business, lots of issues come up! But they are settled, solved, or satisfied, and you move on, right? No need to keep track, right? Wrong! If any of that stuff raises its ugly head later, your acquirer has grounds to come back on you. We should have been keeping some kind of a journal or file or at least tagged these kinds of correspondences and settlements, so they could be pulled out later. As it was, we had to spend 17 hrs-a-day for over a week to get them all written down.

Preparing your filling system for an eventual acquisition is just good business because youneed to have this stuff too. It will help you run your business, reflect on the past, and keep track of your mistakes, challenges, and solutions. It will remind you to ask for those signoffs when any art job is done. It will remind you to keep your entitlements up to date.

And besides, you may just want to sell your business someday. And when you do, you’ll be ready! The longer the deal takes, the less money you will make. Why? Because the word will leak out, your sales manager will quit (and may take your key buyers with them). Your staff will quit (and take their key vendors relationships with them), your customers will want to wait to see what the new owner will charge, and what the quality of goods and services will be. And your suppliers will reign in your credit because you are a “short timer”.

In other words, when it comes to a business sale, be prepared from day one. Make it quick and quiet! Time is Money!

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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7 Steps to Engage Your People (And Get the Results You are Looking For) https://thebarefootspirit.com/7-steps-to-engage-your-people-and-get-the-results-you-are-looking-for/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/7-steps-to-engage-your-people-and-get-the-results-you-are-looking-for/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:00:53 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14776 The Entrepreneurial Culture 3-D Book Image with Transparent BackgroundWhen we sold Barefoot Wine, we received the Wine Industry’s coveted Top Brand award for multiple years, sold 600,000 cases per year in 25,000 stores, were growing in all 50 states and 28 foreign countries, had no turnover for 10 years, and did it all with just 40 employees. We got tons of awards for quality, growth, and innovation.

But it wasn’t because we were so clever, in fact we made most of the big mistakes! It was because our people were engaged and empowered to make a big difference. They came up with most of the clever solutions that got us through the tough times and over the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They did more with less, improved our policies and procedures, and used innovation to disrupt a rather stuffy industry.

At the closing talk for the C-Suite conference in San Francisco this month, Michael shared 7 of the tools we used to build an outstanding team that was engaged, empowered, and committed to the success of our business. Here is a brief summery from the top:

1. Hire Good People, Build Great People.

Hire for hustle, integrity, and enthusiasm. Look for extrapolation learners. Test their comprehension. Be prepared to redesign the job to fit the talents of each employee. On the last interview, you do all the talking. Explain the business process and why their job is essential. Then ask for a summary by 5 pm the next day.

2. Overkill on Orientation.

When the cement is wet, you can move it with a trowel. But when it gets hard, you’ll need a jackhammer! Don’t let them develop and harbor early misconceptions about how the business works, where the money comes from, and how the customer must be serviced to get the funds that go in their paychecks.

3. The Money Map

Show them a “Money Map”. Start with the community from which the initial customers emulate. Show the transactions that starts the money moving as those customers purchase goods and services that effect your business. Show all the twists and turns that the money goes through on the way to their paychecks.

4. The Two-Division Company

Give them a second graphic that shows how your company is organized with the customer on top! Then, right under that, the only people they talk to daily, your sales and customer service people (The Sales Division). Then right under that, everybody else in the company, regardless of specialty (The Sales Support Division).

5. Know the Need

Contrary to the popular Need-to-Know basis that most companies use to keep their people in the dark, practice Know-the-Need to demonstrate respect for their intelligence and commitment to your company’s success. Share your sales and marketing challenges and ask them for help. You’ll be surprised at the results!

6. Public Acknowledgement

Communicate their accomplishment in writing. Copy the entire staff. Get more of what you are praising for. Get them the respect of other staff. Send a “message” that everyone can get the same kind of top level acknowledgement when they perform as well as the one being singled out for admiration.

7. Staff Wide Quarterly Bonus

Reward on a quarterly basis. A year is too long (They’ll forget, sand bag, or give up). A month is to impractical (Months are more subject to anomaly and it’s difficult to get the numbers together that fast). Reward everyone to build team spirit. Make it based on sales, growth, and profitability. We used a variable 401K quarterly match.

Want more details or additional suggestions? Check out our short book on the subject, aptly named, The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 ways to Engage and Empower Your People. It worked for us. it can work for you. You may just hear them say, “I love working here!”

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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GoTime Business & Tech Summit https://thebarefootspirit.com/gotime-business-tech-summit/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/gotime-business-tech-summit/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 19:46:52 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14761 We’re inviting you to a FREE online event called the GoTime Business and Tech Summit where you can watch 32+ short interviews (around your schedule) of some of the world’s top high growth entrepreneurs and experts.

Kim interviewed both of us at the same time & also individual interviews with each of us.

Michael’s interview will be aired: Monday, June 18th

Bonnie’s interview will be aired: Wednesday, June 20th

Michael and Bonnie’s joint interview will be aired: Tuesday, June 19th

To register for this FREE event, please visit GoTime Learning’s Business & Tech Summit Registration

 

Don’t miss out!

 

 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Entrepreneur – Networking Rule #1: ‘Take Off the Bib and Put on the Apron!’ https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-networking-rule-1-take-off-the-bib-and-put-on-the-apron/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/entrepreneur-networking-rule-1-take-off-the-bib-and-put-on-the-apron/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 16:07:52 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14754 As we celebrate another graduating class, we thought we’d give them some good advice to help them turn their dreams of business success into reality. We recently caught up with Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI (Business Network International), the world’s largest business network. Ivan was good enough to agree to an interview where we could zero in on this universal challenge. He gave us some real jewels.

M&B: You’re the creator of the world’s largest business network. Can you tell us why you thought there would be a market for such a concept?

Ivan: I didn’t. I mean I’d like to tell you that I had this vision of an international organization, but the truth is I needed referrals for my consulting practice. I hoped my friends would be willing to refer me, and I was willing to refer them. So, we got together as a group and started passing referrals to each other. So BNI exists because it’s a classic example of necessity being the mother of invention.

 

To read the complete interview, please visit Entrepreneur.com 

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Acknowledgement, Confirmation, and Status Reporting Demonstrate Responsibility https://thebarefootspirit.com/acknowledgement-confirmation-and-status-reporting-demonstrate-responsibility/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/acknowledgement-confirmation-and-status-reporting-demonstrate-responsibility/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 17:00:16 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14743 Our friend recently graduated with an advanced degree in Nursing. To celebrate, we invited her and her friends over for a party. A week before the party we went to our friendly neighborhood grocery store where a young man does barbecuing out in front on the weekends. We thought, “Why not keep the money in the neighborhood and support a local merchant?”

So, we went to the barbecue guy and asked him if he was going to be barbecuing the following weekend. He said he would start at 11 AM on the day of our event. So, we ordered several chickens and several sides of ribs, enough for everyone. It was a sizable order. We told him we would pick the order up at 2 o’clock on the day of the event. He agreed and took our name and number.

On the day of the event we showed up at noon to add to the order as the RSVPs had increased. But to our surprise, no barbecue guy! We went inside and asked the store manager what was up. The store manager said the barbecue guy wasn’t going to be there that day and there would be no barbecue!

Yikes! Now we were panicked! We had all these folks coming over and no barbecue. We quickly got on the phone and found another barbecue guy who was barbecuing in the next town. Luckily, they could fill the order by 2 o’clock. We had to drive a one hour round-trip to pick up the barbecue. Problem solved.

Then at 3 o’clock we get a phone call from our original barbecue guy. He wants to know when we’re going to pick up the order. We told him that the store where he worked said he wouldn’t be there that day and so we had to go elsewhere for the barbecue. We felt sorry for the guy but felt we had no choice under the circumstances taking the action we took.

We see this is a problem on the increase everywhere. Many folks don’t think to advise those who are depending upon them about the status of their requests. The local barbecue guy expected his customer to blindly trust that he would perform even though he knew that announcements had been made indicating that he could not. He did not feel obligated to call to reassure us. Perhaps he will next time!

To put this problem another way, some may think avoiding acknowledgement, confirmation and proactive status reports is a type of protection. They may think their silence insulates them from criticism. That way, if they perform, great. If they don’t perform, it’s up to the person who’s made the request to get back and ask where they are. That way they don’t really own the job.

The problem with this line of thinking is that most people who have been disappointed in the past assume their request will be dropped if they don’t get acknowledgement, confirmation, and timely updates. They have to! They have taken responsibility for the action whether or not the person they asked performs.  They do own the job! And they will take alternative actions to meet the deadlines.

We’ve seen this minimalist approach in other forms like, not acknowledging a request, dropping an assignment until it’s re-requested, getting the requested information but not reporting it. These are all forms of not owning the job.

The key to being dependable is not give anyone who depends on you apprehension. They shouldn’t have to ask themselves: “Are they going to do it? Are they going to do it on time? Are they going to drop it? Can I rely on them? Do I have to go around them? Why haven’t I heard from them? And why do I have to check up on them anyway?” Remove all these types of anxiety with acknowledgement, confirmation, and status updates. When it comes to a job that others depend on you for, just own it!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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Will the Predilections and Prejudices of your Employees Hurt Your Business? https://thebarefootspirit.com/will-the-predilections-and-prejudices-of-your-employees-hurt-your-business/ https://thebarefootspirit.com/will-the-predilections-and-prejudices-of-your-employees-hurt-your-business/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 17:00:45 +0000 https://thebarefootspirit.com/?p=14725 Starbucks just found out the hard way. Their own people can take unwarranted, fear-based actions that marginalize an entire segment of the population. They found out that those actions can reflect on their company which relies on the entire population, not a single segment, for its reputation, brand image, and ultimately, it’s very income!

Starbucks simply cannot withstand a boycott by the offended groups or their supporters. There is a real business message here! People vote with their money and they will no longer vote for businesses that marginalizes them or others. We admire Starbucks for taking responsibility and for beginning a sensitivity program that is aimed at addressing this problem. But it is in their own best interests.

With the ability to quickly capture, share, and go viral, events of this nature can dramatically affect business. That reality has every business now thinking about the mindset of those they hire who represent them. It’s not enough to hire on skillset alone any more. Their predilections can turn business away!

Although much progress has been made since the early days of the civil rights movement, recent behavior by our top elected officials has encouraged many with deep-seated prejudices to act out. They somehow feel vindicated. They feel they have been given permission to marginalize people. They see top elected officials name calling, ridiculing, dehumanizing and disrespecting large segments of the population based on race, religion, or national origin – and some follow their example.

ABC found out the hard way. Rosanne Barr’s marginalizing tweet about Valerie Jarrett went viral. They were forced to cancel her show or face a boycott of advertisers who are dependent on sales to the entire market, not just one segment.

So, we seem to be living in a society with a double standard. It’s unfortunately “OK” for elected officials to marginalize folks, but not for businesses. Businesses are held to a higher standard of respect for civil liberties. You might have to wait years to vote out elected officials. But you can vote out Starbucks or ABC tomorrow!

The bad news is that as far as we have come, latent stereotypes, fears, and prejudices are still prevalent in our society. It seems to be emboldened and sometimes taken into action by people who harbor these predilections. Perhaps they are choosing news feeds that agree with those prejudices. Perhaps they want to take the next step backwards. Or perhaps they actually believe that society is returning to a more intolerant time.

The good news is that most businesses must serve the entire society. Unlike politicians, they can’t just play to a narrow base. In fact, their customers, their advertisers, and their suppliers are holding them accountable for the behavior of everyone who represents them. In a way, we think businesses that want to include everyone as potential customers have become the inadvertent defenders of civil liberties.

We like to say, “If you really want to change something, put a buck on it!” Marginalized groups like African Americans, Latinos, or the LGBTQ are now powerful economic forces to be reckoned with. Employee sensitivity training might start with why we are all dependent upon one another, how our very livelihood comes from people of all races, religions, and national origins, and why we need everybody’s patronage to earn our paychecks.

Perhaps, if we started to look at everyone as a customer, we would treat them with more respect. Minorities have huge financial clout. They know if one minority is marginalized, their minority might be next. So basically, it’s just plain bad business to bring prejudice in any form into the marketplace. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.

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