Posts Tagged ‘tips’

 © Roy Morsch/CORBIS

© Roy Morsch/CORBIS

She is eyeing up the wine shelf. But how do you convert this “browser” into a “buyer”?

Studies from the Yale School of Management 1 have shown that it’s all about shifting a consumer’s frame of mind, from what psychologists call “deliberative” mode – where you’re busy weighing up practical factors like value for money, into a more “action-focused” purchasing gear.

Switching “browsers” into a buying mentality can be kick-started by offering products that need very little consideration such as a highly practical and low cost product e.g. an umbrella if it’s raining. Once one purchase decision has been made, shopping momentum builds up. A study has shown that once consumers have decided to buy a first item, they buy more items overall.

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Starting a business can be exhausting, exciting and exhilarating–all at the same time. This is precisely why it’s refreshing to hear words of encouragement from those who have done it before–and succeeded. We spoke with entrepreneurs we admire to cull the single best bit of startup advice they could muster–and the experiences that led to it. They’re simple mottoes, to be sure, but their impact can be tremendous.

“Don’t think, do.”
So said a stranger to Jeff Curran, founder and CEO of Curran Catalog, a high-end home furnishings company in Seattle, more than 20 years ago.

The two men were sitting next to each other on a cross-country flight, and Curran, then 25, had just broken into the catalog business. They got to talking, and Curran spilled his idea for a startup while his neighbor interjected with devil’s-advocate questions. When the plane landed and the two rose to claim their bags from the overhead bins, the stranger finally opened up his can of insight. Those three words inspired Curran to pour $15,000 of his own cash into launching his company, which has grown into a profitable B2B and B2C brand.

“After that plane flight, I’m sitting in the bathroom at my parents’ house and I pick up [a financial] magazine, and this guy was on the cover,” remembers Curran, now 47. Turns out the man was mutual-fund maven Mario Gabelli.

Curran still lives by Gabelli’s advice. Earlier this year, after learning about profit margins in the high-end car-accessories business, Curran Catalog launched a new product line: designer flooring for collector and European automobiles. “There is such a thing as overthinking a big decision,” Curran says. “Sometimes you just have to get it done.”

“Let your customers lead the way.”
Anupy Singla never intended to build her business around this philosophy, but the more she looks back on the history of Indian as Apple Pie, her Chicago-based Indian food-products business, the more she credits customers with driving her strategy.

 
Exhibit A: When Facebook followers complained they were having trouble finding certain Indian spices, Singla equipped her company to buy those spices from manufacturers and offer them for sale. Exhibit B: After friends and neighbors asked her to show them around Chicago’s Little India, Singla began hosting intimate tours of the shops on Devon Avenue for $50 per person. Even her Spice Tiffin, a modernized version of a traditional Indian storage container for spices, went to market at the behest of customers.

“The point of view for this company is to make Indian food easy and accessible,” says Singla, who was born in Chandigarh, India, and immigrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was a child. “If customers are saying they want certain things, it’s up to me to give them what they want.”

Singla’s ultimate goal is to sell her products in retail stores across the country. Until then, however, she plans to leverage her responsive customer base to test-market products and see what sticks. “If something isn’t right,” she says, “they’ll let me know.”

 

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(Image by Hanson Chiropractic Center)

(Image by Hanson Chiropractic Center)

 

When it comes to the secrets of living to 100, the life-giving properties of alcoholic drinks have featured in the top tips from many centenarians.
There have been many health benefits associated with alcohol, when consumed in moderation, including battling lung cancer, lowering cholesterol and helping with arthritis.

Recent celebrants include Helen Kimsey from Lincolnshire, who celebrated her 100th birthday in February saying that a glass of white wine was her secret. While in March Jim Baines from Norfolk reached his 100th birthday saying that a regular drink of Guinness was the key.

Simone from Paris celebrated her 104th birthday with a glass (or two) of Drappier Champagne. Simone’s daughter, who is herself in her 80s, said that the drink “keeps you young”. Yesterday we revealed that new research has suggested that three glasses of Champagne every week can help boost memory and stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia.

So we have looked back at the tips from a number of centenarians, who have answered that common question on a 100th birthday: “What is the secret to a long life?”

If you want to get your telegram from the Queen, then these are the top tips from those who have been there and done that.

 
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