Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Outlasting your mentor.

Well, kinda.

The only business book I ever found that I thought was worth reading was Growing a Business, by Paul Hawken, who started a little gardening store.

Which grew into a giant gardening store, apparently.

From KeyPoint Partner's Retail Roundup:

"Smith & Hawken will call in the liquidators for its 56 stores unless the corporate parent of the premium gardening chain and catalog company reaches a last-minute deal with potential buyers, according to sources close to the negotiations."

Looks like Mr. Hawken cashed out long ago, however, since it's owned by conglomerate, Scotts.

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Interesting to me how much my business parallels both motel room tax receipts and airport debarking.

I first noticed this during the 9/11 aftermath when my store dropped almost exactly the same as the Redmond airport.

According to this mornings Bulletin: "Bend room-tax collections fell 19.5 percent below May 2008..." "For the fiscal year to date, from July 1, 2008 through May, collections are off 14.8 percent..."

I'll be willing to bet that if you took July and August and September out of those numbers, it would be closer to 20% than 15%, which is almost exactly my results.

Makes sense -- you can't make money from people who never showed up....

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Still too early for someone to make the statement, "I believe it's flattened -- it won't recover tomorrow -- but it won't get any worse as far as real estate pricing..." Scott Baklenko, co-founder and managering director of Castle Advisors.

I'd advise him to come down out of his ivory 'Castle' and look around.

Or just go to Bend Economy Bulletin Board and check the daily listings of price changes. Pretty much universally downward, still.

He gives himself a five year timeline, which MIGHT be enough, but it'll be close.

On the other hand, he did buy Tuscany Pines for $2.75, down just.....a tad...just a bit from the 11.4 million that original owners paid. (I'm unclear if that 11.4 million was before or after development.)

Just a little bit, you know....something like 75%. But as I always say to myself when ordering at the store, it doesn't matter how cheap something is if no one buys it.

Somebody took a shave cut that took off most of the top of their head. Hell, it took their head and half their trunk. Why do I keep hearing the name Umpqua Bank in these money losing deals....?

I don't know, somehow their "boutique" bank at Northwest Crossing offended my puritan leanings.

3 comments:

BENDBUST said...

Dunc,

I have only seen one good book in my life about 'small business', or building a business from scratch.

It was called "What ever happened to the Wooly Mamoth" a book published in the 1960's, that tells everything you need to know about how to start a business and survive in the long term.

Find the book. For youngsters who read this site, maybe they can find some truth. In a world full of hype , lies and myth about business.

YOU & I know that having your own business is about freedom, being a wage slave in our society is always about slavery, whether its a food joint or a doctor or lawyer. It's always best to sell product rather than time, ... time is invaluable.

Jeff said...

Bendbust,

So I went on the internet to look for "Whatever happened to the Wooly Mammoth" and found it just like you said. The book says that all the mammoth's were wiped out by Noah's flood, just like it says in Genesis.

Bendbust, have you been reading creationist children's literature?

Anonymous said...

Bendbust, I was searching the web for comments about Scott Baklenko and found your "ivory tower" comment. I just wanted to point out that it was his "ivory tower" comments that suckered me into investing my retirement with him of which he lost. I'm embarrassed to admit, but he snookered me out of a half million dollars, within 6 months. Good to know he lost his license and was fined 20K.