Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why you read and write retail business blogs

At Inc. magazine, Hillary Johnson has an article about "Why I read business blogs". This paragraph about a retailer's blog is great:
It's done the same for a lot of small-business owners. A friend turned me on to a blog by a mother-daughter team who operate the Cracked Cauldron, a bakery in Oklahoma City. Aside from posting snapshots of yeast formulas as if they were baby pictures, the owners have blogged their personal journey, freely discussing how they used to be homeless and what led them to want to start a bakery. They didn't have any expectations when they began their blog, but through it they found a retail space, connected with suppliers, attracted customers, and started correspondences with other entrepreneurs from as far away as Ghana.

Build your retail business with a blog. Give it a try. What do you have to lose? You can create one free right here at Blogger.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Wealth Creation and Destruction - don't throw it away

Wealth is created every time value is added to a product or service. General Motors forms metal and plastic into cars, transforming cheap raw materials into expensive autos. Value is added and wealth is created. Everyone understands that.

What doesn't occur to many people is that when we junk that car, value is subtracted and wealth is destroyed. A valuable vehicle becomes raw materials and landfill.

In fact, everything we throw away, consume or burn is wealth destroyed. A beer bottle has value as a container until the beer is consumed and the bottle is chucked in the trash. Gasoline has value as "stored energy" until we burn it.

The wealth of an economy is constantly changing. It increases as new value is added. It decreases when we use stuff up.

It's easy to see how manufacturers create wealth, but retailers create wealth too. Value is added to a store's inventory by bringing it to the customers and by holding it until the customers are ready to buy. Most of the time the retailer doubles the value of the inventory (as reflected in the difference between the wholesale and retail prices).

Do retailers also destroy ? Yes. Merchandise arrives in cartons, which we throw away. Wealth destroyed. Light fixtures use electricity. Wealth destroyed.

We can all help increase the total wealth of our economy by slowing the destruction of wealth. Install efficient lighting and HVAC units. Encourage wholesalers and manufacturers to ship merhandise in reusable containers. And most importantly -- sell products that are long-lasting and retain their value.