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A new business seems to be up and running in Lynnwood. Breakfast and Burger Bar looked open and serving customers when I drove past this morning.

So, let’s welcome our new neighbor!

Breakfast and Burger Bar

I just received a note from my almost-former fitness club, Vision Quest (read it here, if you wish). They have been acquired by Fitness International, LLC. If my brief bit of research holds true, they’re the parent for LA Fitness.

I bear them no ill will, and truly wish them and they’re staff the best. I found them pleasant and helpful. I great weary, though, of worn gear. Yeah, I’m not a treadmill runner, preferring my stationary bikes. But being relegated to barely functioning, decades old equipment wore me out. Anyway, I hope the new owners are prepared to invest and bring the facilities up to date. Sadly, I expect they will simply close sites and push people to existing LA Fitness locations.

It’s sad to see truly local companies fail and vanish. I guess, at one level, it’s the way of things. It’s hard to compete with the extra-large in commodities.

Just got this from the US Small Business Administration. Looks like a great opportunity to expand your small business skill-set. And it’s free! I love seeing these opportunities.

If you are looking for one day and one place to learn what you need to start or grow your business, plan on attending this year’s free Washington Small Business Fair Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p..m, at Renton Technical College.

Attend seminars that cover important, up-to-date topics for all stages of business ownership. Savvy business experts share their knowledge and real-life experiences with you. Save valuable time and visit the Exhibitor Resource Center to get the information and help you need from federal, state and local government agencies, and business and trade associations.

The event is free and there is no advance registration, just show up, and spend the day or just a few hours – it’s well worth your time!

For more information, email info@bizfair.org or visit the website at www.bizfair.org.

Reading this at Venture Beat just annoyed the crap out of me: GlassUp raised $100K on Indiegogo — but PayPal is refusing to pay up. This isn’t the first time PayPal has dealt with similar issues, even to the point where their president publicly intervened in a resolution. This troubles me regarding PayPal’s future.

These rules need to significant repair if PayPal wants to remain relevant in this space. StartUps, heck, any business CANNOT operate with random and inconsistent access to funds. I think PayPal’s growth as a purchase transaction processor might be the root of these aggravations. At a brief glance, I see vigorous efforts to protect buyers from fraud. Noble, but hampering these transactions that vary from that model. Policies need to evolve with market changes. Especially market shifts that reflect your company’s goals and objectives. David Marcus has publicly tried to change this, to better align themselves with the startup community’s needs. However, high profile breakdowns like this run the risk of major damage to the brand. And, I guarantee you that someone out there is getting ready to come in and out innovate PayPal.

PayPal has been a disruptive innovator in their field, and have brought a lot of value. However, these gaffs have eroded trust and that goodwill will be hard to earn back. These are ripe fields for competitors to come in and win.

On a regular basis, I get hit with complaints that I didn’t respond to a message. “I left a message with you 10 minutes ago. Why haven’t your replied?” I get hit with this in all sincerity and, sometimes, with angry vigor. Another colleague was lamenting to me that they’d sent several emails and left several voicemails that morning and were ANGRY that the hadn’t heard back. She was a bit taken back when I pointed out that this person has 100s of clients and is extremely over-worked, and that I was certain there was no insult meant by her less-timely response. 

I think that this stems from our always-on world. Email, texts, etc, come fast; we have nearly instantaneous communication. We get answers from Google/Bing instantly. We are accustomed to immediate response. So, waiting even several minutes feels unreasonable.

I notice, though, that when people are drawn out of themselves, raising their focus, they easily see the bigger picture. They see that I really can’t respond instantly to each of the 100 some odd emails I get in a day. And that taking some time to respond isn’t disrespectful.  

Perhaps we need to just slow down. Perhaps we can. Perhaps….

Been spending a fair amount of time today looking at different website options for my company. At this point, I’m not terribly impressed with any of them. Makes me think I should go and build my own. 

My dream system has all the components of your standard transaction well integrated. CRM, transaction steps, offer tracking, listings, key dates…all that sort of thing, That and tightly integrating our blogs, YouTube channels, Twitter feed, etc. Want to maximize SEO for our work. 

Chatting with some colleagues, I have some other options to explore. The most interesting, to me at least, is the notion of building a whole site on my own via WordPress. Then I would add the functionality I want with plugins. Seems very doable, and would feed my inner (and outer) geek. 

I wrote a brief post a couple of weeks ago looking at a local company, Zumiez, and some of their videos (you can read that here). The Everett Herald posted a story on Monday looking at one of the Co-Founders, Gary Haakenson.

My son is big fan of Zumiez fashion, so I’m closely attached to the brand. I’ve been quite impressed with my interactions with them, both in their stores and in the community. Their headquarters is just a few miles from my house, and I regularly drive past. All these bring about an attachment.

So, read up on one of my local brands and enjoy this snapshot into regional business culture. And into one of our areas entrepreneurs.

I love Seth Godin’s post today.

We’ve all seen policies that only serve one function of a business to the detriment of others. And watched that team fail to address this.

It’s painful and often sad, as good people either leave, or get sucked into that paralyzed mindset. When creativity and innovative thinking are crushed, this is your journey’s destination. It sucks.

Several of my friends tease me, since I’ve worked for Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft, when will I work for Boeing. PACCAR gets occasional mention, too. It’s never been an official goal of mine to experience the cultures of all the region’s largest businesses. Yet, now, having journeyed this far, I’m mildly interested in the rest.

Boeing holds a unique spot. As a boy, I was a space and aircraft nerd. My purpose for joining the Navy was to work on aircraft. (Going from that to serving on a submarine is a story for another day,) I grew up, for the most part, in the shadow of Everett’s Paine Field. Myriad friends and family work at Boeing.

With all this, I’ve never worked there. Every time I have wanted to work there, I commit to some other job before the big B gets around to asking me in. I can think of two times that I would’ve needed to turn down a job offer for the chance to work at Boeing. My brain doesn’t work that way. Perhaps the right time and opportunity will come. We shall see, I guess.

There are several other larger companies is the area that bear mentioning. Ones like Zumiez, Premera, Fluke, Pemco, and Safeco. Several world class companies. And this shouldn’t minimize the huge number of small and mid-sized businesses around here, too. A diverse economy, with a variety of businesses. Helps make this a dynamic place.

Originally posted on my Snohomish County focused blog here.

I remember, years ago, riding my bike through Brier and stumbling upon a loading dock and set of buildings just off Vine Road. There’s precious little marking the spot, and it seems very quiet during the day. Over time, I would drive by in the mornings and see the place pretty busy. Anyway, for years, every time I passed the place I wondered what was there, but not with enough intensity to actually get off my butt and do something. Well, with today’s technology, I don’t need to get off my butt to learn more.

Turns out this is Northgate Egg Farm, a part of E. C. Wilson Produce CO., INC. According to the WA State DOL, they’ve been on file since 1968, but according to Manta, they’ve been around since 1906. I’m willing to bet there’s a bit of murkiness to records predating the ’60s, but I really don’t know. Either way, they’ve been in the area for quite some time. They are listed as an “egg distributor”, whether that expands on the obvious, I don’t know.

What I find cool is that this is a living part of this area’s history. Much of South Snohomish County early economic roots were egg farms. At one point we had 200,000 egg laying hens. Most of that has died out. But we have a little piece of it still living, quietly, in the heart of Brier.

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