October 2008 Archives

Do You Smile for Your Customers?

Yesterday Nev left a comment on my last post regarding AMEX’s customer service: By the way, have you ever called the AMEX 1-800 number? I think AMEX hires only the MOST FRIENDLY PEOPLE ON EARTH. I think they slip something in their coffee. I haven’t ever called them, but I’m kind of looking forward to when I can! There have been plenty of instances where I’ve had that same feeling Nev is describing:  where the person you’re interacting with is so happy, so helpful, and… Continue reading


An Easy Way to Save a Cool $1k

Remember that post I wrote about our American Express Plum Card a few months back?  We’ve only had the card since February, but we were just informed that we reached the maximum limit of savings that we can receive from FedEx in one year.  Apparently the 5% discount only works up to $1,000/year of savings. That means in ~9 months we saved $1,000 just by having our FedEx charges automatically charged to our Plum Card!  This doesn’t even include the 2% cash back we’re getting… Continue reading


The Devil is in the Details

I like trying new restaurants.  It’s fun to assess not only the food, but the overall atmosphere.  I always notice how courteous the staff is.  I always notice how clean the place is (especially the bathrooms and the dishes).  I always notice how happy the other patrons are. It’s amazing how all of the little things add up to form your initial opinion – one that will do a lot to determine whether or not you’ll ever come back. This past weekend I was in… Continue reading


Thank You Skidmore!

“Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth”. –Roberto Clemente I mentioned back in August that I was invited to speak to an Entrepreneurship and Small Business class at Skidmore College in Saratoga, NY (about a 45 minute drive north for me).  Well, the day finally came yesterday, and it was an awesome experience.  The class is comprised of about 20 seniors who are interested in entrepreneurship.  For a… Continue reading


Getting Creative for Winter

Back in March I wrote about how I was changing my schedule to accommodate our early morning deliveries to our warehouse.  Six months later, we’ve all pretty much acclimated to working from 7:30 AM to around 3:30 PM on our warehouse days.  Even though we’ve more than doubled our inventory since March, we’re able to receive 99% of our deliveries in that block of time. UPS comes every day around 11 AM.  FedEx delivers at 7:30 AM and picks up around 3 PM.  Freight companies… Continue reading


Building Something

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about his job hunt.  It’s not that he doesn’t like his current job per-se, but that he feels like it isn’t offering any growth opportunities – financially or otherwise.  We discussed how frustrating it is to go to a job every day and feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything important. I know the feeling.  I felt it at my job, and by all normal measures I had a very good job.  Unfortunately, my advice… Continue reading


Profitability Update

Back in April I did a post entitled Thoughts on Pricing and Profitability where I basically pondered the advantages of become a higher volume, lower margin retailer: Generating sales is the hardest thing to do in the world of business. If I find a hands-off way to drive sales AND can turn over inventory faster by doing it, I’ll gladly sacrifice some profitability. The comments were mixed – some in agreeance, some not. And rightfully so. It’s an interesting debate with no clear cut right… Continue reading


Times Are Changing

Back when I was in high school, we barely used computers.  Other than typing up reports and a little bit for research, I don’t think I really needed a computer in any of my non-elective classes.  I graduated in 2000.  A lot has changed since then. Our sports writer for the Tastefully Driven Lifestyle Blog runs a great blog called The Blog of Champions.  He also happens to be in high school.  As part of a social studies project he and his classmates were asked… Continue reading


Google Me

No, seriously, Google me.  I finally, finally, rank #1 for “Adam McFarland”: Take that Adam-McFarland.com! Only took me like 3 years of actively maintaining a blog while that site hasn’t changed since about 1998…


The Economy, The Election, and Entrepreneurship

Like every other American, the economy has been on my mind a little more lately than I would like.  This post isn’t really put together with much of a “point”, more so just a collection of thoughts I have on everything that’s been going on. —- James Hong, co-founder of Hot or Not, wrote the following in a post on his blog, which I happen to think is dead on: Ideologically, I don’t like the idea of a bailout. But I also understand that if… Continue reading