built-to-lastDrawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day — as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: “What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?”

Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.

open-a-businessFor about a third of Americans, the idea of starting their own company is more frightening than skydiving — even as they dream of quitting their jobs and pursuing their passions. At least that’s according to a surveys exploring the many factors that keep people from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.

Web-hosting service Weebly sponsored a survey of 1,001 U.S. adults chosen to be a representative sample; Wakefield Research conducted the interviews March 26 to April 1 via e-mail invitation and an online form. The margin of error was ±3.1 percentage points.

By understanding what potential entrepreneurs perceive as obstacles, you could find it easier to pursue your own dreams of owning a small business.

levi-1When you are trying to put your customer in the perfect pair of Levi’s jeans, sometimes the task can be daunting for both them and you. This article acts as a guide to denim lovers and Levi’s fans alike in finding the correct fit and the right size of these tricky shrink-to-fits. We’ve had a painter, a motorcycle mechanic, a world ranking badminton player, a Swedish hockey player and the father of a Danish denim enthusiast wear the ‘big five’ of Levi’s Vintage Clothing 501 line up ranging from the 1944 S501XX through the 1966 501. This is what we learned.

lazy-employeeIf you are a manager or a business owner you can not afford to have negative non performing on your payroll. Sometimes unproductive employees search out Smaller Business because of their lack of Direct Management. Large companies like 3M discovered that when they laid off the bottom 10 percent (the weakest performers) of employee’s their productivity increased by 18 percent. It didn’t take them long that learn that negative employees not only produce less but also cost  quite a bit more.

Negative employees destroy moral and turn off customers with their negativity. They don’t have a lot of drive and don’t take allot of initiative. So how do employees with good positive attitudes behave? Hear are four characteristics you should look for in yourself – and your team.

locationIt is true what the say about a new business, that a key factor to it’s survival is it’s location. This is why you have heard it said before that the three most important factors for a shops survival are,”Location, Location, and Location”. Although there are other factors that are just as important I would like to shed some light on why location is imperative for Vintage Clothing Stores as well.

Over the years of opening vintage clothing stores and helping other open stores of their own we got to see how certain stores reacted in different locations.

4-factorsHiring your first employee is a big step and pulling the trigger can be a tough decision. How do you know when the time is right? When can you be sure that you are not adding unnecessary expense to your business?

The simplest rule to follow is that you should hire your first employee when the incremental cost is justified by any combination of three items: increased revenue, lower expense and reduced workload for you.

In order to make this assessment, you’ll need to understand four things.

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commercial-lease-agreementOne of the steps to opening a brick & mortar vintage clothing store is finding a building to put your store in. Unless you own the said building you will most likely be renting the commercial space. This means that you will be required to negotiate and sign a lease/rental agreement with the property owner or property management company. There are a few different types of commercial leases out there and knowing your way around the terminology is your first step to making sure hat you do not get in over your head.

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break-all-the-rulesThe greatest managers in the world seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They do not believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They consistently disregard the golden rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. This amazing book explains why.

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization present the remarkable findings of their massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial companies. Whatever their situations, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup’s research were invariably those who excelled at turning each employee’s talent into performance.

Vintage SwimsuitsIt is  that time a year where many of us get to shed our clothes and soak in some rays down at the local water hole. This year 1970’s fashion is on the rise and I just can’t help but browse through some of favorite photos of 70’s swimwear. From European designer beach wear to southern California surf-wear, 1970’s swimwear had a a style and appeal all of its own.

Two major themes dominate the shrinking bikini throughout the 1960s and 1970s. One concerns the general narrowing and reduction of the bikini in general. This momentum to some extent drives the second, which is the mechanics of how the suit is fastened together in order to say on–and to be taken off of–the body. These elements include a rich tableau of soutien-gorge tying and fastening details.

By the early 1970s, the declining waistline of culotte nombril, now precariously below the pubic bone and not always covering the buttocks, collides with the slower-rising legline. The emerging point of contact–the side of the bikini brief–provides the focus for a flurry of design creativity. The resulting silhouettes include culotte sidegather, in which gathers and bow ties narrow the sides of the culotte, culotte sidering, in which rings hold the front and back of the culotte together, culotte sidestrap, in which the side of the culotte is reduced to a decorative strap (with or without a fastener), and culotte sidetie, in which the front and back of the culotte are tied together at the side in a knot.

dealing-with-upset-customersAs individuals we all have our own little per peeves. What may turn off one customer may not bother another. However, as retailers we can’t afford to turn off one single customer. Image is everything. Keeping our stores neat and clean is not only easy to do; it’s generally an inexpensive way to attract customers and create a pleasant store atmosphere. In today’s world a disgruntle customer can cause a lot more damage than they could in the past. With social media and the many companies like yelp online, an upset customer has a platform to express their disgust.