Jim Muehlhausen

Does customer service need to suffer during Half-Retirement?

Half-Retiring business owners  aim to keep their business income while working only two half-days a week. However, if the customer service department cannot effectively function without the owner on-site, the chances of pulling off a successful Half-Retirement are limited. So, can a business owner Half-Retire…

Don’t be afraid to narrow your niche

I saw the van below in a parking lot and it struck me as a shockingly narrow and unusual niche. This stands in stark contrast to many businesses who want to be all things to all people. They sport slogans like, “For all your…...

Customer feedback may be worth more than you think

Our organization was engaged in a debate regarding customer and prospect preferences and behaviors. After a bit too much of, “I’m right, you are wrong,” someone wisely suggested surveying prospects to ask their preferences. We created a short 14 question business owner survey and offered...

Extraordinary Guarantees and Your Business Model

I am a big fan of by Dr. Christopher Hart’s book, “Extraordinary Guarantees: A New Way to Build Quality Throughout Your Company & Ensure Satisfaction for Your Customers.” In the book Dr. Hart lays out a blueprint for improving margins and sales via exceptional...

The power of a brand

The power of a brand If you weren't convinced of the power of a brand, check out the cool infographic below. More interesting is the rise of the tech brands and the fall of consumer and hard goods.

Unbranding and your business model

Proctor and Gamble (P&G) plans to introduce a lower-priced version of #1 selling brand Tide. Tide Simply Clean and Fresh will be price in the mid-tier category vs. the premium category for regular Tide. Here's what has P&G salivating –According to Nielsen, in the...

Does a cool idea = a great business model?

Does a cool idea = a great business model? When I met the owners of NoChar Inc. and the showed me how their product can protect a town from burning down in a forest fire or how it can protect a man's hand from a...

Business Models for Dummies Overview

I thought our readers might appreciate a brief overview of Business Models for Dummies. Feel free to click through the slide show below and pass along to colleagues.   You can purchase the book at http://amzn.to/12sQgmo

Two New Business Models

Alright, the following are not "new" business models, but I have penned a name for these successful business models which does serve an important function. By naming and defining a business model, we can then study it, improve it, and learn from them much...

LegalZoom Should Consider the Franfiliate Business Model

LegalZoom has built a $200+ million business catering to the needs of customers with a legal need who don't want to hire a lawyer. The company started out selling forms and helping preparing them. If you needed to file an LLC with your state...

T-Mobile Messes with Samsung’s Business Model

Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA made a bold move to remove smartphone subsidies. Carriers have long complained that handset subsidies benefit manufactures such as Apple and Samsung to the detriment of carriers. For instance, an iPhone 5 sells for $199 with the remainder of the...

The Surprising SodaStream Business Model

It is estimated that 50% of Americans consume at least one soda per day, totaling about 8.5 billion gallons. SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA) has taken an interesting approach to this market, dominated by Coke and Pepsi. Coke and Pepsi have a traditional sales and distribution...

Can Best Buy’s 5-Point Plan Work?

Many pundits are forecasting the demise of big box retailers, including troubled Best Buy. Sales are down. The stock has been pummeled. Now the company has brought in a new CEO with a new 5-step plan to turn things around. Let's take a closer look...

Three Business Models in Danger

Sometimes a great business model hits a snag. These pitfalls can damage or even destroy a once good business model. In this article, I will discuss three business models with significant potential pitfalls. Energy drink business model As more and more incidents of overdosing on…

The difference between the business model, framework and architecture

An interesting question from Marsha Campbell, HR Officer at National Commercial Bank Jamaica Ltd landed in my inbox the other day: I noticed on your website you explained the difference between a model and a business plan. I would like to know what is the...

Does Cost Cutting Create Competitive Advantage?

Many Fortune 500 companies have shown us that you can make more profit with fewer sales. Sealy Mattress' second quarter 2012 sales down 2.9%, profits up 1.5%. MillerCoors' domestic first quarter sales to retailers was down 1.6 percent but net income rose 16.6 percent....

Penney’s Business Model Experiment Goes Splat

J.C. Penney just reported a bigger-than-expected loss and rapidly declining sales, as customers vote with their wallets and revolt against the new pricing plan that gets rid of hundreds of sales in favor of every day lower prices. Only six months ago, Penney's launched...

Pandora’s Business Model Experiment

Internet radio giant Pandora Media is the world's largest Internet and mobile radio service. In June 2011, the company went public at $16 per share. Quickly after the IPO, investors drove the stock down, concerned about Pandora's ability to generate profits and fend off...

Is the Angry Birds Business Model Unique?

Angry Birds Space just broke a new record becoming the first app to hit 50,000,000 downloads in only 35 days, two weeks better than Draw Something, the previous record-holder. Across all platforms, Angry Birds boasts over 700 million downloads. With the Angry Birds business...

More sales is never the problem

Entrepreneurs are the best people in the world. They are ever-hopeful and optimistic. They believe there is a solution to every problem; and they are usually right. However, this same optimism tends to lead entrepreneurs to believe that all business problems can be solved...

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