“Yo?” That’s Right, I Said “Yo”

spokesperson for goodbuyguys.comIt seems that some new social networking/messaging service rolls out almost every day and most of them head straight for the bottom of the ocean.

Yo just might be different.

All Yo does is let you send a single spoken word (is it really a word?) to someone, or everyone on your network. “Yo” is slang for “Hello” in some cultures, but it really has no meaning of its own.

In a moment of weakness, I downloaded the app to my phone, and then realized that there was no one in my Yo network, so there was nothing I could do with it.

Just to see how it worked, I joined the soccer World Cup network. All that did was cause my phone to chirp a “Yo” every time a goal was scored. It did not tell me who had scored or even who was playing. Just a notification of a goal being scored.

Today, a new and really fascinating and valuable use for the Yo app has surfaced and it is making a difference in peoples lives.

The Israeli goverment is sending out “Yo’s” to everyone who joins the network to let them know of a possible incoming missle launched as a result of the ongoing escalating tensions with Hamas.

Suddenly, a simple “one to many” message that everyone can get quickly and understand is starting to make sense.

Keep your eye (and ears) on Yo. It may have a life after all.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Protape gaffers tape, Duracell Procell batteries, Nashua duct tape, Bay State wire ties, Hosa and Coast Wire extension cordsand OnStage Stand mic stands.

 


Posted in business communication, good business ideas

Can Your Presentation Pass “The Duct Tape Test”?

spokesperson for goodbuyguys.comI edit another blog (product specific) called Tradeshowtape.com.  It is focused on products used to produce trade shows.

Recently I came across a trade show concept called “The Duct Tape Test“.  Obviously, any trade show idea that is focused on tape is going to catch my attention.  Turns out, “The Duct Tape Test” has nothing to do with  tape.

The idea of the test is for evaluating trade show displays, but it is relevant to almost any type of presentation you might be working on.

It works like this.  In order for a trade show (or any) display to pass the duct tape test, it must be capable of getting your idea across even if you had your mouth covered with duct tape.   If your display can’t  get your ideas across without your explaining or elaborating, it has failed the test.

Next time you want to present an idea through a graphical presentation, make sure it can pass the “Duct Tape Test”.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Protape gaffers tapeDuracell Procell batteries,  Nashua duct tapeBay State wire tiesHosa and Coast Wire extension cordsand OnStage Stand mic stands.

 


Posted in business communication, good business ideas

You’re An Engineer? Where’s Your Train?

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comI have always been amused at how the live events business has allowed such practices as referring to sound persons as “engineers“, and this is a good example of how the special events production industry has evolved outside of the mainstream.  Real engineers have college degrees, face rigorous testing and must be licensed before they ply their trade.  All a sound “engineer” needs is a Sharpie and a Maglite!

You need an architect, a licensed contractor and a building permit to add a bathroom to your house, but you can build a six story tall temporary structure in the midst of 10,000 people by just being lucky enough to win the bid.

I was in the outdoor staging business for many years, and must disclose, upfront, that I was guilty of more than one questionable decision, because we are all so deeply committed to the concept that “the show must go on“.  I am now amazed that over a period of more than 20 years no one ever asked me who designed this roof, who built this stage, and what are their qualifications?

Somewhere along the way, our commitment to hard work and quick thinking has managed to allow us to escape the scrutiny (government and otherwise) that similar industries must submit to every day.  Those days are likely nearing an end.

We used to joke that building stages was like having a construction job without a lunch break.  The joke should have also included “and without a permit“. The building of temporary structures puts performers and audience members at the same sort of risk they would be exposed to when shows are in permanent buildings, but the fly-by-night nature (I don’t mean this in a derogatory manner, since we literally do “fly-by-night)  of what we do has allowed it to escape the inspection and permitting process.

The evolution of stage roofs from being a tent over a flat bed truck to massive structures like that ones in use today has happened in rapid fashion, and the notion that an unlicensed contractor can hang thousands of pounds over the heads of audience members and performers without being subjected to formal training, licensing and inspection now must come to an end.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Shurtape & Pro Tape gaffers tapeDuracell Procell batteries,  Nashua duct tapeBay State wire tiesHosa and HB  extension cords and lots of other “satisfaction guaranteed” production supplies.

 


Posted in good business ideas, Pro lighting, Pro Sound, special event production, Staging

30 Years In The Trenches-What I Really Learned

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comUntil recently, my chosen career was in concert and special event production.  I spent more than 30 years doing sound, lighting, staging and event management.  It was a great run-I got to see the country and make dozens of great friends.  I saw more than my share of great shows along the way.

So, what did I learn that I consider really valuable today?  I can coil cables, level stages, mix sound for live TV and focus lights from the top of a 20 foot ladder.  Those were all hard-won skills that served me well, but they don’t have a lot of value today.

The most valuable skill, by far, was being able to make decisions.   As a producer of large events and concerts, every day was a string rapid-fire decisions, all focused on the starting time of the show.  There was never a chance to kick around a lot of options or “sleep on it”.  There just wasn’t enough time.

Fortunately, these were not decisions of the life-or-death variety, and if I was able to get two out of every three right, I was usually a hero.  There was never the option of putting off the decision until later.  The show would be today whether I made a decision or not.  Choosing “not to decide” was the same as “choosing to fail“.

I reality, the more decisions I made in a day the more likely I was to get really good results.  Making a couple of decisions before my first cup of coffee always gave me new options that got me closer to an on time show.  That was the goal.

Actually providing good entertainment was the job of the performers and their hands on technicians.  My job was to make enough correct decisions to insure that they got to do their job.

Making lots of decisions can be risky, even painful.  Rarely will it do the sort of damage that is almost guaranteed by making no decision at all.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Shurtape & Pro Gaffer gaffers tape, Duracell Procell batteries, LED flashlights, Nashua duct tape, Bay State wire ties, Hosa and HB extension cords and OnStage Stand mic stands I enjoy sharing good business ideas with our readers and customers. Let me know what you think.

 


Posted in arts education, business communication, good business ideas

No Time To Scrutinize Your UPS Bill? This Might Change Your Mind

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comWe ship lots of packages by UPS, sometimes as many as 100 in a single day. We think that they do a good job, and we’re always happy to see a brown truck backed up to our loading dock.

What we’re not happy about is a new phenomenon that that has cropped up on our weekly bill. If you do lots of shipping and find you don’t take time to look at the bill in detail, then our discovery might change your mind.

UPS has always charged for address changes, and when they are able to get the package delivered when the address is wrong, it makes sense that there would be an additional fee. It is certainly better than having the shipment come back undelivered.

What has changed in this regard is how and when they determine that an address correction charge is appropriate.

We are now seeing lots of address correction charges (currently $12.50/package) for changes that just don’t seem necessary. Specifically, when UPS “adjusts” an address by doing something as simple as adding AVE or DR to the address, they are adding the correction charge to the bill. That could be as much as $50.00 on a four package shipment, since the charge is added to each parcel, even if they are all going to the same place.

Our online ordering software lets the customer enter their own address, so if they leave off the street designation, then it might not make it to the shipping label.

Now, when that information is left off the order, we always do a quick Google check and make the correction ourselves.

Unfortunately, no one gives us $12.50 every time we do it.

 


Posted in bad business ideas, business communication, good business ideas

Will You Lose Your Job To A Memory Cable?

jeff harrison at goodbuyguys.comI used to make a pretty good living providing sound systems for spoken word events and recording them so that they could later be transcribed.

I came across a new product today that just might put whomever is doing that recording these days out of a job.

It is called The Gibson Memory Cable, and it is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas.

Right now it is intended for guitars and other electric instruments, but a version designed for microphones is probably right around the corner.

Gibson Memory CableThe cable has a recording module built directly into it, and utilizing a micro SD card can record up to 13 hours of music (or whatever). The musician can start it, stop it and play back what is recorded from controls integrated into the cable.

A version designed for a microphone would let a presenter do their own recording without any outboard equipment or someone to operate it. All they would need is the cable.

Gibson has not released a price yet, but they are have said that the cost will be competitive with standard premium cables.

 


Posted in audio visual, Pro Sound, special event production

Not Using Amazon Prime Yet? It’s Gonna Cost You

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comWe’re big fans of Amazon Prime in our office and something from Amazon hits our dock every single day. We get our money’s worth (currently $79 annually) every month, and have probably saved well over $1000 in shipping costs over the last year by utilizing their free two day shipping offer. If Amazon doesn’t have it, we probably can live without it.

In a recent announcement, Amazon is telling current customers that their annual fee will increase to $99 the next time their renewal date rolls around, starting in July.

That means if you set up an account now, or sometime in the next three months, you can lock in the $79 price for the next year. Since the cost of UPS shipping went up about 5% at the beginning of this year and will, no doubt, go up again next January, the savings you can get from Amazon Prime will mount up fast.

While not a fan of “all things Amazon”, we heartily endorse their Prime shipping service and think you ought to give it a try-The first 30 days are free.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Shurtape & Pro Tape gaffers tapeDuracell Procell batteries,  Nashua duct tapeBay State wire tiesHosa and HB  extension cords and lots of other “satisfaction guaranteed” production supplies.

 


Posted in customer service, good business ideas

Microsoft Gets It Wrong- Again!

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comI, for one, was not thrilled when Microsoft promoted from within, naming Satya Nadella as Steve Ballmer’s replacement in the CEO chair. If ever a company needed new eyes, it is Microsoft. Nadella has been at Microsoft for the last 22 years, a time that has seen the continuing slow death of innovation at the company.

Mine, and lots of others, worst fears were realized, when the software giant announced that they would stop supporting the XP operating system in April of this year, an apparent “gun to the head” attempt to force loyal customers to upgrade their OS to Windows 8, or at least Windows 7.

Many, myself included, believe that Windows XP was (is?) the best operating system Microsoft has ever released, and the subsequent releases of Windows 7 and Window 8 prove this out.

Windows 7 remains buggy, even after several years on the market, and Windows 8 was clearly designed for a mobile device, not the desktop.

We still run some work stations with Windows XP in our office and are now scrambling for a solution that will allow us to continue to use this OS without new security risks when Microsoft pulls the plug next month.

If you have a solution for keeping your XP system up to date and secure when Microsoft kicks you to the curb, please share it with our readers.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Shurtape & Pro Tape gaffers tapeDuracell Procell batteries,  Nashua duct tapeBay State wire tiesHosa and HB  extension cords and lots of other “satisfaction guaranteed” production supplies.

 


Posted in bad business ideas, business communication

You’re My Customer and “You’re Fired”

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comOne of the most annoying platitudes in all of business is “the customer is always right”. Who are you kidding?

Any business that automatically stands on the side of the customer instead of their own employees is going to be a very unhappy place to work. While it is true that without customers, there is no business, it is also true that with only demanding, entitled and arrogant customers, there is no need for the business.

A happy company exists first for its employees and second for its customers. Employees who feel valued, who feel secure and who feel empowered will find a way to see to it that the customers are happy without the loss of face, the surrendering of dignity or the lack of self worth that comes from always putting the customer first, regardless of how unreasonable they are.

If you can have confidence that by empowering employees to meet reasonable expectations from your customers, then they will soon believe that exceeding those expectations will keep the customer coming back.

If the customer is unreasonable, has unrealistic expectations or thinks that they own you because you want their money, they you need to fire them. There is somebody else ready to take their place.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Shurtape & Pro Tape gaffers tape, Duracell Procell batteries, Nashua duct tape, Bay State wire ties, Hosa and HB extension cords and lots of other “satisfaction guaranteed” production supplies.

 


Posted in Uncategorized

When Is Your Business In Trouble? When There’s No Competition In Your Rear View Mirror

good idea jeff from goodbuyguys.comI recently read an interview in on of my favorite trade journals with someone who had started a very successful manufacturing business.  Most of the interview had good insights about starting and maintaining a business, but I was shocked at the founders answer to this question.

When asked about his competition, his response was that “we take pride in not concerning ourselves with it.  The moment we look back, we are no longer leading.”

If you are not willing to look back to see who might be nipping at your heels, then don’t be surprised when you look forward and see someone who you always thought of  as your trailing competition is now eating your lunch.

It’s fine to see yourself as a leader, but that isn’t worth much if no one is following.

GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Shurtape & Pro Tape gaffers tapeDuracell Procell batteries,  Nashua duct tapeBay State wire tiesHosa and HB  extension cords and lots of other “satisfaction guaranteed” production supplies.

 


Posted in bad business ideas, business communication