Video Remedy for The Last 48 Hours—Last Lecture

Posted by John Park on Sep 17th, 2008
2008
Sep 17
It’s been a whirlwind (more like a tornado) in the last 48 hours.  Lehman Brothers (founded in 1850) went belly-up, Merrill Lynch gets bought by B of A and AIG gets a 85 Billion bail-out by the Feds.  On deck—Washington Mutual.  When I was graduating from college, these were some of the names that were at the top of the list for places we should strive to find employment.  Google wasn’t around then.
 
Yes, these are huge business blunders to blog about but because of the magnitude, there will be plenty of opinions flooding the WWW. 
 
Instead, I want to share with you an inspirational video.  It’s about life, priorities, what we found important as children and about that all important and elusive “balance”.  If you haven’t seen this video yet, you should.  I know an hour is a huge commitment of time I am asking of my business owner readers.  It’s worth it.  Save it for later if you have to.  As the world appears to turn upside down, it will help put things back in perspective while allowing you to refocus on the task at hand.
 

 

If you cannot view the video in your e-mail, please visit Biz Crusader directly.

 

 

2008
Sep 11

Blackberry Keyboard

 

Today… a post about adjusting to the times.  For those of you business owners who are exclusively using toll-free vanity numbers on your ads, I have a message for you.  STOP doing it!

 

This is especially true if you insist on putting these phone numbers that spell something on your mobile or outdoor ads.  Yes, I am referring to the vans, trucks, billboards and etc.

 

THE REASON:  Many alphabet placements on cell phones are different than regular home or office phones.   That’s right.  The letters are not in the same place.  If I tried to dial 1-800-FLOWERS from my blackberry, I would have no idea how to do it and the call will most certainly end-up as a wrong number.  This is not counting the frustration and loss of that immediate and often emotionally-based inquiry.

 

What’s the solution?  The idea of vanity phone numbers are not completely bad because it allows us to memorize a number quickly but you cannot print the vanity phrase alone as many businesses still do.  Below is an example of how it should be publicized.  In essence, the real number should be present with the vanity phrase.

 

1-800-FLOWERS
1-800-356-9377

 
In addition, partial vanity numbers should be avoided completely in my opinion.  You’re much better off trying to get a number with consecutive same digits.  By the way, I have never met anyone that likes dialing a vanity number as you slowly focus in on each letter to translate it on your dial pad.

 

Sorry for the tirade.  I just drove by a van that was promoting a carpet cleaning service.  I am in need of such a service.  When I started to dial it, I realized that part of the toll-free number they were marketing was a vanity number.  Partial vanity phone numbers are the worst because they are harder to memorize thus BRAND.  I had to give up because I couldn’t dial the number.  They lost a prospect and a potential sale.

 

We live in a world of immediacy with instant communication tools at our disposal.  Make sure that your toll-free vanity phone number strategy is in line with the times and today’s technology.  You cannot expect a prospect to memorize your number or write it down only to wait and call you when they get home or to their office.  I know… I know… I could have taken a picture of it with my cell phone camera.  That thought escaped me at the time.

 
***By the way, the same exact problems arise when you have an automated answering system that asks the caller to spell the person’s first or last name.***

 

 

Better Than Expected Losses — Say What?

Posted by John Park on Jul 24th, 2008
2008
Jul 24

Indymac Window Letter

 

Isn’t that a funny phrase?  You’re a loser but just not that much of a loser.  This is the new BUZZ phrase being utilized by analysts all over Wall Street.  As one major company after another reports their 2nd quarter earnings, it’s almost too frightening to watch.
 
 
The HITS keep on coming!
 

INDYMAC BANK — Read the letter in the window please.  Sorry… those of you who had more than 100K in this defunct bank.

 
WACHOVIA — $9 Billion Dollar Loss, WOW

 
WASHINGTON MUTUAL — $3.3 Billion Dollar Loss, CEO says give me another shot

 
NATIONAL CITY — $1.8 Billion Dollar Loss, Should have stayed in the Mid-West

 
MERRILL LYNCH — $4.9 Billion Dollar Loss, Got a stock tip?

 
FORD — $8.7 Billion Dollar Loss, Largest EVER in its history

 
GM — I am too scared to look.

 
 
Who is making money???
 
- OIL
- WAL-MART
- HEALTH CARE
 
 
Don’t expect miracles from either Obama or McCain.  We’re in this for a while yet.
 
Thank GOD we still have small businesses holding up the U.S. Economy!

 

NO DOCS = 200 FBI AGENTS

Posted by John Park on Jul 17th, 2008
2008
Jul 17

foreclosures mess

 

According to a report today on CNN, there are 200 FBI Agents investigating 21 Mortgage Companies in the U.S.  This basically means that people will be going to jail.  This news along with the announcement made by CA’s Attorney General of an expansion to their lawsuit against Countrywide made me ponder a bit about who is REALLY at fault.
 
Is this another Enron where a handful of executives created fictional shell companies to perpetuate a revenue & earnings fraud?  Did one executive say she placed a sell order when she really didn’t?  Was the current mortgage crisis created in a back alley somewhere under the cover of darkness?
 
ABSOLUTELY NOT!
 
As the Real Estate Boom continues to unfold into a complete nuclear nightmare, I think it’s perfectly reasonable for everyone to look for scapegoats or at least a few guilty-looking faces.  The problem is that there is a lot of blame to go around.
 
Federal Government:  They were completely asleep at the wheel.  They’re making FEMA look competent.
State Governments:  Dozing off at the wheel while enjoying unprecedented Boom Town growth in select cities.
City Governments:  Doubling and tripling property taxes paid for a lot of parks, city shuttles and new employees.
Politicians:  Looked the other way.  Why not?  Their constituents were happy as pie spending their home equity lines like lottery winnings.
Homeowners:  Many lied or overstated their income knowing fully well that they were “fibbing” to get approved.  They signed 100% financing loan papers with enthusiasm.
Mortgage & Banking Industries:  They ALL looked the other way for a quick buck.  They had programs called “NO DOCS” and “STATED INCOME.”  Need I say more?

 

Let’s face it.  Everybody went along for the RIDE.
 
Did Nancy Pelosi ask why real estate in SF had tripled in less than 10 years?  Did John McCain ask why or how when real estate speculators drove up prices in Phoenix and in Tucson to unprecedented levels?
 
I am not saying that there aren’t victims.  Of course, there are victims in this mess.  I am merely saying that the current mortgage fallout wasn’t created in a vacuum.  The hands of many are a little dirty.
 
Jailing a few mortgage executives to make examples of them, although it may feel good, is probably not the answer.  The answer is to do everything we can as a country to ensure that something like this can never happen again.

 

 

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