By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Consider using a start-up mentality
Is it time to re-examine the many aspects of running your business? Whether your business is relatively new or multi-generational, ask yourself if your company is in line with the vision and mission statement you’d established when you started your business.
I am constantly inspired by the enthusiasm and energy of start-up companies. I wonder how well our businesses would prosper if we reviewed our mission statements and visions with a renewed focus.
Perhaps this is a good time to re-evaluate our day-to-day processes and revisit the entrepreneurial spirit which inspired us from the beginning. As time goes by, like anything else, we may become blind to areas that can be improved upon: our “house” gets dirty, dust balls accumulate—we get used to seeing the clutter and it becomes viewed as acceptable. We may get used our company culture the way it is right now, which may not be in line with our original vision.
So, maybe it’s time to take a moment to assess where you’ve been and where your company is now. Make sure that you’re not just drifting in a particular direction out of complacency—if so, adjust your sails to proceed full-steam ahead in the direction of excellence and growth. Even if your day-to-day schedule is booked solid, consider taking the time to pull back, look with fresh eyes, and examine the core of your business.
I often ask myself, what would Steve Jobs do? I am sure he was constantly reviewing and re-evaluating Apple’s progress. Is it time to take on new products or take the company in a fresh direction? How’s the temperature of your company— where are you, how are you forging ahead?
That’s where the SWOT analysis comes in as a valuable tool for plotting your company’s course. This analysis is a study to identify a business’ internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats. It takes a snapshot of our companies: where they are strong, where they are weak, and where they are not aligned with our original goals and values.
After looking at your current vision and mission statement, you may find it antiquated—it may have worked 15 years ago, but may not fit today’s rapidly- changing climate. Our ability to adjust our course to reflect our renewed vision will help create a successful path into the future.
Onward and upward-
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
In June of this year, I was invited on an amazing trip by one of our partners, Liehberr, to visit the factory in Austria where the new Monolith refrigerators are produced. This was a special visit, as it was also an incentive trip for their top retailers and distributers to attend. It all started off with breakfast in an open-air garden restaurant in Munich with sausage, pretzels and beer.
We headed to the site of the 1972 Olympics and were treated to a feast in the revolving restaurant in the Olympic Tower. The food was amazing and the view was breathtaking— bringing back memories of the events that took place there in 72’.
We took an amazing scenic drive from Munich to Lienz through the Austrian Alps and to the Grandhotel Lienz ( My personal rating was 5 Stars. ) After a wonderful evening of drinks and dinner , I turned in early as the next morning was going to be a full day. We spent 6 hours learning about the various products that Liebherr manufactures in Lienz, their history, and a tour their amazing factory. After the training, we had an amazing dinner on a cliff in the Austrian Dolomites. Talk about a view (and truly a white-knuckle bus ride.) More sausage, pretzels, and beer, of course.
The next day we were taken on another scenic drive to Telfs Austria, home of the Liehberr Bulldozer factory. As you’ll read in this month’s main feature, Liebherr makes more than refrigerators. My only wish after seeing how they made these massive earth movers was that I could’ve taken one for a joy ride on the testing grounds!
The last few days were spent at the Liehberr Interalpen Hotel high in the Alps (I’d rate it 6 Stars if that existed). This was the most amazing hotel I have stayed in and puts all others I’ve seen to shame. We were treated like royalty; golf, spa treatments, incredible food, and amazing rooms and views. I think my favorite part was experiencing Mrs. Liehberr’s culinary expertise with our meal the last night there. A true Germanic meal and amazing hospitality.
Our last day was spent on the road back to Munich, a historical walk thru the famous city, a visit to the Hofbrauhaus, and an amazing dinner (and yes, there were sausage, pretzels and beer.)
I’ll remember this trip for the rest of my life. Thank you again to our hosts, and happy retailing.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen (Sincerely),