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Special Contributors - Newest Articles
How might we?
Alixe McRae
Written by Alixe MacRae   
Image"How Might We' is a phrase coined by Warren Berger, a blogger the Harvard Business Review who claims these are the three words most commonly used by successful entrepreneurs. In a post to the HBR web site last September, he said: "Some of the most successful companies in business today are known for tackling difficult creative challenges by first asking, How might we improve X ... or completely re-imagine Y... or find a new way to accomplish Z?"
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Seven things to know before spending a penny on advertising
Donald Cooper
Written by Donald Cooper   
ImageMuch of the money spent on advertising is wasted. Most of it contains the wrong message, is sent to the wrong people, and placed in the wrong media. So, before you spend a penny, here are seven things to know about advertising.
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O.B. Solie: icon and iconoclast
Joe Carroll
Written by Joe Carroll   
ImageO.B. Solie was both an icon and an iconoclast.  I met this well-known and respected furniture designer in the early 1980's when he was designing for Ello, a high-end contemporary manufacturer, based in Rockford, Illinois. O.B. and Bill Peterson, the founding editor of Furniture/Today, had both grown up in Rockford. Bill introduced us in the Ello showroom.
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Technology is changing everything, are you keeping up or falling behind?
Donald Cooper
Written by Donald Cooper   
ImageTechnology is changing some aspect of every business on earth. Are you leading the way? Or are you falling behind? There are basically three kinds of technology innovation: those changing how we doing things; those replacing us; and, those leading to new products and services. Independent retailers need to understand each one before figuring out how these changes apply to them.
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Furniture has a story to tell
Joe Carroll
Written by Joe Carroll   
ImageLast time, I wrote about the unique opportunity we have to increase sales by portraying interesting pieces of furniture into conversation pieces. All it takes is a good retail sales person who has taken the time to learn something about the history of the piece he or she is selling. Many manufacturers provide hang tags, brochures or other material to tell the story behind the design or construction of the piece on display. This sales technique is called "romancing" the furniture. I fear it is becoming a lost art.
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The simple truth about vision and mission
Donald Cooper
Written by Donald Cooper   

ImageThere's a great deal of confusion in business today about ‘vision' and ‘mission' and very little understanding of the difference between them. Businesses spend years and tens of thousands of dollars on consultants and "strategic retreats" only to come up with a Vision Statement that isn't worth the paper it's written on but is still proudly hung on the lobby wall. It usually looks something like this and is almost always signed, ‘The Management':

 

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