Thoughts on starting & operating a small business

  • The Basics

    Since opening Prairie Girl I have been asked to speak a few times and usually the requested topic is some version of the “secret to success”. I really think  that a big part of any success I’ve had is luck and timing so I am …

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  • The curse of giving good service

    I’ve learned that when the goal of great service is a big part of your business, after awhile the entire team slowly but surely becomes completely resentful of bad service they receive elsewhere. I can’t tell you the number of times a member of the …

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  • Sales 101

    One truism of sales is that it is much easier to sell to an existing happy customer than a prospect who knows nothing about you or your business aka “a cold call”. The mistake I’ve made since opening PGB is to not immediately implement a …

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  • 24 Hour Rule

    I don’t know why I am even writing about something as obvious as the 24 hour rule because chances are extremely high every reader of this blog knows about the 24 hour rule. Oh yeah, I know why! Because we all know this rule and …

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  • The career ladder

    I’ve been thinking lately about people’s careers and how everyone approaches them so differently. One of our sons is in a stage where he has clear ideas as to what he will and won’t do when it comes to looking for work after university. For …

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  • Navy SEAL training

    In my last post I was whining about stuff and maybe as a result of reading that post, long-suffering Andrew sent me a recent piece from The Wall Street Journal called “Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training”. It was actually a commencement address at the …

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  • Showing up

    On Tuesday morning at 630 AM, still sleepy from a relaxing long weekend, I received a panicked voice mail from PGB’s Head Baker, Andrea, to call her ASAP. Andrea never calls me at home before I go in to work so I knew something was …

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  • Never hurts to ask

    Recently both of our catering desk professionals gave their notice so that they can go back to school. Wonderful steps for them but I must admit I was a little panicked at first. During my hysteria (not quite), Andrea mentioned that one of the bakers …

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  • Getting started

    I am hooked on Project Runway. Last night I watched an episode where a $20,000 prize was up for grabs. The winner said that he previously had just $14 in his bank account –  so now he’d have $20,014. Not surprisingly, he was pretty emotional …

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  • 10,000 Coffees

    A few months ago I was asked to join “10,000 Coffees” which is a virtual coffee shop where people with some sort of experience can be invited for coffee by a person hoping to follow a similar path, or interested for some reason in the …

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