Diary of a Madman

Going Against The Grain

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Friendly Fucking Companies (AKA the hypocrisy of pretense)

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It never ceases to amaze me (well it did until I called one buyer who had the same “I’m too busy to return your calls” message for 3 straight weeks…but that is another story).

Not a day goes by where myself or my partner get told to “fuck off” in no uncertain terms by people we approach as business partners, be it retailers to buy and resell our product or someone we want to talk with in regards to joint marketing initiatives.

I’m not talking about people saying that they are not interested in our product or proposition in a timely manner.  I don’t expect everyone to be into what we are selling.

What I do expect is the occasional return phone call or email saying “Thanks, but no thanks”.  We even leave our email addresses on the voice mails, so they can send us a polite PFO (please fuck off) letter.

It seems that FOAD (Fuck off and die) is the more traditional route taken by people.

But what I typically get is some nasty response, after leaving messages for 4 weeks, along the lines of “Stop calling us already.  We are obviously not interested!!!”  I wonder if any CEO’s or senior managers would care if they knew their low level staff were treating people with such disdain and disrespect.

All that money spent on big consumer ad campaigns destroyed with a phone call.

Beyond the obvious, if “you would have taken 2 seconds to say so 4 weeks ago, I would have stopped calling”, these companies seem to think that I obviously live in some sort of isolation chamber on Mars and don’t know anyone who might actually shop at their stores.

We get these types of responses from both big and small companies.  Virtual and brick and mortar

The majority of these companies put on these fucking smiling happy faces for their customers while treating their suppliers and potential suppliers like absolute shit.  They dont return calls, they fuck them on listing fees, they short pay invoices whenever they feel like it.  Bottom line, they show most of their vendors limited respect.

Guess what, suppliers are people too.  People with money.  And the further I go down this road, there are becoming fewer and fewer retailers I would actually shop.  Which in away is great……more of my money stays with me.

But good work guys…….keep up with those shit eating grins………no one has a clue that its all an act…….no one at all 🙂

Written by insaneentrepreneur

April 25, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Not Sure Which Is More

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of a load of shit:

Corporate Finance: Always trying to make a dollar seem like it worth more than a dollar.  And it works, at least for short periods of time, until someone actually has to cough up the cash to pay the bills

Marketing: Trying to convince customers that a $1 product is worth about $10.  Works on a repeated basis, over and over and over again……….

Having said that, both are a lot of fun……..as long as you are on the right end of the deal

Written by insaneentrepreneur

April 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Behind the Curtain

X Ray Eyes

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Picture yourself in this situation……

All of a sudden one morning, you wake up and you have x-ray vision. You can see right through people’s clothing. Exactly like those glasses they used to advertise at the back of comic books.

You expect that you are going to get to see all of the beautiful people naked, which you will. But there is one problem, there really aren’t that many of them. Underneath their clothes, most people, are, well, quite…………YUCK. Thank God for clothing; Not everyone can be a model. In fact, based on what you are seeing, you could swear that you were in an old age home.

That my friend is exactly what it is like for me walking into a retail store.

I know how many times a product has been marked up on it trip down the distribution channel from the time it rolls off the assembly line to the time it walks out of the store – think on the magnitude of 8 to 10 times. As the CEO of a large company once told me “If there is one rule to success in mass market, its 10 to 1”.

So that product you just paid 10 bucks for probably cost about a buck to manufacture.

Why so much?

Well let see. There is the 40 to 50% margin that the average retailer wants to make selling the product. Which, if you are bad at math, means the retailer typically buys a product at about half of it retail price.

It doesnt stop there. Retailers will often charge a manufacturer or distributor additional costs in the terms of discounts, co-op advertising fees, and return allowances. I have seen these run up from 5% to 17% in some situations, or what abouts to 8.5% of the retail price of the product. In the end, the customer pays for this too as it gets built into the price of a product.

But wait, there’s more. Listing Fees. The dirty little “secret” of the retail world, that no one really wants to go on record about. These are the fees that stores charge some, not all, companies, to put product on the shelf – to rent shelf space if you will. They will tell you that these fees help the retailer offset the cost of setting the new product up in their warehouse and inventory system, which may be tolerable, except for one thing……..this is the business the retailer is in……..buy stuff in bulk and selling it (they get a 40 to 50% margin for it). But guess what, in the end, the consumer pays for this too.

So essentially, many distributors and manufactures are essentially just renting shelf space space from retailers and paying through the nose through it, which means consumers are paying through the nose for goods they buy.

The next time you go into a store and buy, say a pair shoes or some kids clothes, or better yet a high end retailer who is selling you clothes with a designer label that were manufactured in China, think about how much of the purchase price is going towards “air” (marketing, transportation, etc) and how much is hard product cost……You may just want to gouge your eyeballs out.

Written by insaneentrepreneur

April 13, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Behind the Curtain

So Why Do It?

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So why would anyone pick the path of being an entrepreneur.

I think it comes down to one of two reasons.

You’re either a lazy fuck who doesn’t want to be held accountable to anyone else, thinks that the work day starts at 10 am and refuses to wear a tie. You’re not an entrepreneur, you are a hack. You just cant find anyone to hire you on a permanent basis because you’re such a lazy bastard. Calling yourself an entrepreneur is a joke and an insult to actual entrepreneurs.

or

You see an opportunity to solve a problem and go after it, regardless of your personal means. Speaking from experience, I can say that the biggest rush I get is not when someone buys our product the first time. Its when they buy it the second, third and fourth time…. I think you get the picture. Whatever it is that you do, make or sell, no matter how trivial, trite or small it may be, has had an impact on someone else’s life to the point that they place a monetary value on it.

Written by insaneentrepreneur

April 5, 2008 at 4:32 am

Posted in Behind the Curtain