Biz Blog Wk 4

Write about your favorite product-based company.

Dick Blick is a privately owned art supply store that has both physical store locations and an expansive online store. While the physical store is a heaven for artists with its shelves of colorful goodies, the online store offers better deals and a much wider selection of art supplies. Frequent online specials ensure that artists come back to Dick Blick to purchase their art supplies at cheaper prices than surrounding competitors. Even though Blick is only a distributor, they have begun selling a line of good-quality “blick” products that are now being sold by other retailers all over the U.S. if not all over the world.  Dick Blick also has several subsidiaries, including Utrecht Art Supplies, a well-known international art supply store chain.

There isn’t really anything else to write about Dick Blick.

Biz Blog Wk 3

Write about Harry Browne’s 5-point sales process.

The five points of any sales process are 1) Get the customer’s attention. 2) Identify the problem/need of the customer. 3) Position your product/service as the solution. 4) Prove your case. And finally 5) Ask for the order.

The first step is obviously essential. If someone is walking down the street and your business grabs their attention, they will probably step inside to take a quick look around. If your business does not grab their attention, they will keep walking down the street and you will have no chance to sell them anything. I cannot stress enough how important advertising is. If anything with your display or the wording of your sign is just slightly wrong, you will have no customers. Once they are inside, you can proceed to step two. Engage in pleasant conversation. Find what irks them. (Let’s say you run a jewelry shop.) Do they need a gift? Are they frustrated because they cannot find a certain color gem anywhere else? Now comes step three. Start thinking about how your product could help and commiserate with the potential customer. Don’t say anything about your product quite yet. Here entereth step four. Make a few suggestions about how your product might help them solve their problem. Don’t push. Answer any objections and prove that your product is the one they want by professing your positive company history, experience, equipment, or statistics for success. Don’t make it sound like you are just trying to push your product, because you shouldn’t really be. In order to have successful business, you and the consumer are making a deal mutually satisfying to both parties. Here comes the final step. Usually customers will close the deal on their own by making an executive decision but occasionally they need a bit of help. A careful nudging such as, “Shall we close the deal?” should work adequately. Keeping the customer happy throughout the entire transaction affects your business and personal reputation more than you might think. If word gets around that you are stingy, or pushy, or rude, you will have no more customers. People’s word is taken much more seriously than a sign, no matter how pretty that sign is. Remember the words of Harry Browne, “Selling is a service.”

 

Biz Blog Wk 2

Compare the franchise model against going independent and “doing your own thing.”

The franchise model involves quite a bit less risk than the independent business model because you already know that your idea is a winner and you will earn money. This takes fairly little innovation but you do have to pay other people for the franchise and the work they’ve done to come up with the ideas and policies and designs and tried-and-true methods for attracting customers. Since you have to follow everything to the letter regarding the franchise, your ability to upgrade and morph in accordance with the popularity of your particular location is severely restricted. What I’m trying to say is that if people really like your fish sandwiches at one location but people really dislike them at all other locations, the fish sandwich will be cut from the franchise menu, regardless of how much the one location profits from the sandwiches. So it is fair to say that the franchise model is less risk/less reward than the independent business model. The latter model has a substantial amount of risk involved. You have no idea yet if the people will like your product. You are probably not 100% sure how to attract the maximum amount of customers and you definitely don’t have as much money to support your business as the franchise model does. Another problem you have to face is the amount of innovation you must accomplish on your own. The logo, the business name, the uniforms that your employees are wearing all have to be designed–and if you can’t design them on your own, you have to pay someone to come up with an attractive an unique theme.  On the other hand, except for the money that goes to paying your bills and your employees, you get all of the potential profit. Since your company is independent, you needn’t bother with paying a franchise and are under no obligation to follow the orders of anyone regarding the operation of your business. If the fish sandwiches are popular, go ahead and serve them in order to appease the customers and maximize your profit. The independent business model is clearly more risk/more reward. Although I cannot really say if one business model is truly better than the other, the independent business model seems to be a much more appealing option to an entrepreneur ready to start their own business.

Biz Blog Wk 1

How do the 3 areas of business apply to a business in your city?

Ok so Imma explain to you what the 3 areas of business are before we really get into this. The first is sales and marketing. Basically this is the part of business that gets the product out in the open and sold. The second area is operation where everything is manufactured or taken care of. The third and final area is administration and finance. Pretty self-explanatory: who is in charge and who we have to pay or how we get paid.

My family manages an industrial property and rents out spaces on the property as a business. The first area of business (sales and marketing) is dealt with by our business through the use of a sign in front of the building that advertises the empty space and occasional craigslist listings.  The second area of business (operation) is apparent whenever me an the fam. pick up trash, inspect the building weekly to make sure it’s in shape, fix anything that needs fixing, and generally make sure the property is attractive enough to attract potential tenants. If by any chance we are unable to fix a problem we call in a handyman. For the third and final area of business (administration and finance), we end up doing a lot of paperwork and computer-spreadsheet editing. Then we have to go collect rent from all the tenants and make sure everyone is caught up on their payment. Then back to the spreadsheets! Time to pay the bills for the building. Of course it’s never quite that simple, but overall, this is how the 3 areas of business apply to our business. :)

Lit^2 Term Paper Outline

How important has the theme of optimism been in the development of Western Lit since 1493?

According to dictionary.com 4 types of optimism 1) Disposition/tendency to look on the bright side and expect the best outcome. 2) Belief that Good trumps Evil. 3) Belief the Good pervades reality. 4) A doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds

Nowadays we see mostly __ this type of optimism, but was it always that way?
Throughout history optimism and pessimism conflict. We could not have survived without optimism and risen to where we are now?
Literature is best record of optimism in history because preserved so we can read it ourselves.
Since 1493, optimism is evident in all literature and we can see it becoming a more prominent part of the written world as time goes on and comes closer to our day
Examining the lit in more detail, we see that optimism has not just extended its influence, it has morphed and changed from different types of optimism entirely over set periods of time to go along with events of the days.
Of course, the optimism was targeted at specific groups of people as well, which affects our view of the past.
And let’s not forget that while today we can write about anything we want to, back then books were only specific themes. Continue reading

West Civ^2 L165 LAST CIV PAPER EVVVAAAARRR

What is one issue that reflects the individualist versus collectivist outlook in your own times? How does it do this?

**PLEASE READ THIS**

Well first, some definitions. The individualist outlook according to Wikipedia is defined as “the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one’s goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one’s own interests by society or institutions such as the government.” Regarding Collectivism, Wikipedia says, “Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the group and its interests. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Collectivists focus on communal, societal, or national interests in various types of political, economic, and educational systems.” *cough cough* Socialism! *cough* Continue reading

West Civ^2 L 160

In what senses was the world a dangerous place in the 1960s and 1970s?

The world became a dangerous place in the 60s and 70s as a direct result of the Cold War and the loss of traditional values, along with the creation of a huge welfare state.

After WWII, the Soviet Union and the U.S. began to rise as two opposing superpowers. While the Russians were determined to spread communism around the world, the US had plans to be policeman, arms dealer, and conqueror of the rest of the world. (This is referred to as a military industrial complex because of the revolving door policy between politicians, arms dealers, and bankers.) Thus began the Cold War in 1947, called such because no actual military combat between the USSR and the US ensued. Spying and intrigue were the words of the day for the next 43 years. Both sides toppled many countries for the purpose of installing puppet dictators and spreading either side’s power. Even though the US and the Soviet Union never physically clashed, several real wars were a direct result of the Cold War. One of these wars was the Vietnam war, a proxy war between US and Soviets using the Vietnamese people and Vietnamese communists as pawns. Over the course of the war, 1.5 million Vietnamese, 300,000 Cambodians, and 60,000 Laotians were wiped off the face of the earth. The Vietnam war ripped apart the Vietnamese culture and the toxic defoliant Agent Orange had a hugely negative affect on the  soldiers, the civilians, and the ecosystem that is ongoing to the present. Although the Cold War has officially ended, military industrial complex still terrorizes the world. Continue reading

West Civ^2 L155

What were the important components of Germany’s Economic Miracle?

In Germany, the year of 1946 was referred to as “the Year Zero” because it was the first year after the second World War ended. However this was not a happy time. The country was desolate and the people starving. Germany had been divided into four zones after the war: British, French, Soviet, and US. The US under President Truman recommended the measures spelled out in Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) 1067, which were a series of nefarious plans to transform Germany into peaceful pasture-land. He pressured the rest of the allies into agreeing. If he had his way, from then on, Germany would have no arms, no factories or industry, no education, and basic sanitation. The people were only allotted 1200 calories per day. However as 1947 rolled around, the population was willing to starve no longer and Germany’s citizens began to protest. Lucius Clay, an American Zone Military Governor, was rightfully concerned that the German people would revolt and communism could take over the state if conditions did not change. Three remarkable German men, Wilhelm Röpke, Conrad Adenauer, and Ludwig Erhard, convinced Clay to persuade allies to release their hold on Germany and to allow individual liberty for the people and free markets to flourish. Continue reading

West Civ^2 L145

In what ways did revenge figure into the strategies of the countries fighting in World War II?

At the conclusion of WWI, on June 1919, the Paris Peace Conference was held between the Allied Powers (U.S., Britain, France, and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary). The resulting Treaty of Versailles dictated retaliatory settlement against the latter two countries. Germany was forced to give up all of its arms and large amounts of land arbitrarily, pay reparation fees to other countries, and to accept responsibility for all the damage throughout the war. In addition, a previously erected hunger blockade was finally lifted from Germany months after the war ended, but the humiliated, defenseless, destitute people continued to starve. These conditions were perfect for the culture of socialism, which like a bacterial plague, infected all of Europe, allowing the proud, vicious, tiny-mustached Hitler to establish his Nazi party in Germany. His fervent desire to regain Germany’s pride and lost lands directly led to the revenge that would become WWII.

Most, if not all of the terror bombings and senseless destruction throughout war was brought about by the mindset of “If you bomb me, i’ll bomb you.” After Hitler re-armed Germany, he invaded Poland (Sept. 1939) and promptly declared war (1940) on several countries at once, including Russia, France, and Belgium. The British, anxious to beat down the Germans again, defended Belgium and France at the Battle of Dunkirk (spring 1940). Hitler, who had grudgingly admired the British, decided it was now their turn to suffer, and attacked Britain in the Battle of Britain, or the Blitz (July-Oct. 1940), almost wiping several cities, including London, Southampton, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Manchester off the map, targeting civilians as payback.  The English, who at first had only targeted industrial areas in Germany, began bombing train stations and city centers of Germany, intent on bombing the German civilians the same way the Germans had mercilessly destroyed the British. In that way, many cultural centers of Europe were levelled, including Cologne, Hamburg, and Dresden. Tens of thousands of civilians were senselessly killed on all sides to appease the human desire for revenge and break human morale. Continue reading

West Civ^2 L 140 (W/ Outline)

Did World War II become more brutal as time went on? In what ways? Was the brutality on only one side?

World War II gradually became more brutal as time went on, hard as that is to believe. Despite today’s propaganda informing us that the Germans and Russians were the only evil ones, the U.S.’ tactics to win the war were just as horrific. Cities bombed into oblivion and millions dead were the fault of all parties involved in the war, most noticeably the Nazis, the Japanese, the Royal Air Force, and the U.S.

By the 1940s, in the wake of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler had begun to order more mass shootings than ever before of the Jews, the mentally or physically disabled, the Slavs, and the Gypsies. Fully half of these innocents killed over the course of the war were simply rounded up, forced to dig their own graves, and shot. By the time the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia, the Germans had instigated a reprisal shooting program in which for every single kidnapped, wounded, or killed soldier, they would simply march into the next town, round up 20-40 people, and shoot them. In one extreme example in 1944, in the village of  Oradour-sur-Glanein in Nazi-occupied France, the Germans massacred 642 citizens, wiping out the town in 4 hours. Starting in 1939, the T4 program was created to eradicate Germany of all people with congenital diseases. The “degenerates” of society were removed from their families and caretakers under the false promise of better care in Nazi-government institutions, but instead they were quietly killed. The bodies were piling up, and yet there were still more innocents to be shot. The Einsatzgruppen Killings of 1941, the work of mobile killing squads of the German SS, were noticeably affecting the executioners. The Nazis were in desperate need of an even faster and more efficient way to off their victims. Under SS Lieutenant Reinhardt Heydrich, gasses were perfected and employed in factory-style death camps, in which the prisoners were either worked to death or directly gassed upon arrival. Most of these camps were located in Poland. Around 70,000 handicapped people and about 3,000,000 non-Jewish Polish citizens were murdered by the hands of the Germans. Continue reading