Business Profiles Category

Relentless and Obsessed

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

TonyScelzoEd

Someone once told me I was relentless and obsessed. I took it as a negative personality flaw. It made me feel like I needed balance. Over the years I learned to like my obsessive characteristics. If I focused on the right things this could be a positive thing. About a week ago I started reading a book called Relentless, “From Good to Great to Unstoppable” by Tim S. Grover.

Grover trains the best athletes in the world on recovery, getting stronger and mental toughness. You may have heard of Michael Jordan, one of the best athletes he trained..

The characteristics he finds in his best athletes is their sellout commitment to outwork their opponents. These athletes own their space on their field or court and in their sport.

Think about the toughest competitor you have competed with in business, life, health or even spirituality.

Were you willingly committed and relentless to win at all expenses of time, energy, and money?

Just think about how scary it is to face someone who is willing to die to get better.

Jordan was the most relentless, obsessed, and focused individual in the game. There were many that matched and exceeded his physical stature, but it was his steely eyed determination, and relentless obsession to be better than the rest of the league that separated him from the good. It didn’t stop there, it made him the best.

It is unreasonable to be relentless and obsessed. Jordan, Jobs, Gates, Picasso, and Hemingway were so unreasonable in their pursuits they became the best.

Tony Scelzo
Gear Marketing
tony@gearbfd.com

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Dinner Lab: Upscale, Folksy, Pop-up Dining

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Dinner Lab   Image Credit: Rieux Photo

Dinner Lab Image Credit: Rieux Photo

Because Dinner Lab is announcing its entry into the Indianapolis Market today (see details below), we’re sharing some background on their upscale, folksy, pop-up restaurant model.

When Brian Bordainick, CEO of Dinner Lab, was living in New Orleans and found himself missing good ethnic food, and good late night dining, he filled the void himself, initially serving midnight Thai and Indian meals. Subsequent meals were diverse in both people and food, and it planted the seed for what Dinner Lab has become.

After nine months of these occasional dinner parties, the model evolved of opening up a membership, hosting dinners more frequently, and incorporating feedback.

In these pop-up events (restaurants appearing Brigadoon-like on a given day and then gone the next), chefs are provided a creative platform to prototype new dishes and ideas. Guests provide detailed feedback to help them iterate and grow.

As a company, they operate as a subscription service where people pay up front for access to their calendar. They aren’t trying to be exclusive or anything like that, but this is how they subsidize the cost of dinners, hire people, rent a kitchen, etc. Guests then pay for each dinner and have access to not only events in the local market, but in every other city (30 before Indianapolis) that Dinner Lab operates.

What differentiates Dinner Lab from other eating experiences is their constantly swapping chefs, locations and menu themes/cuisines. Chefs use Dinner Lab to experiment on new recipes and get feedback from diners – think of it as a foodie focus group. Diners can attend events in any of their 30 markets, which as Bordainick says, “is a great perk while traveling for work, or just planning a weekend trip around an event.”

Brian Bordainick, CEO of Dinner Lab

Brian Bordainick, CEO of Dinner Lab

Bordainick characterizes his customers as “adventurous diners who want to have a little fun and try something new. Diners who enjoy the fact that these chefs are trying something new and not every dish is going to be a home run, but that they can use the feedback cards to give their feedback.”

According to their CEO, the excellent chefs and staff of Dinner Lab result from a great HR team. “On the chef side, we have a curation team that works with prospective chefs, looks at their menu and helps them develop it to make sure it is as successful as possible. All of our teams go through an extensive training that lasts a few weeks to get them up to speed before sending them off to run events on their own.

We have a very work hard, play hard culture. We all have enough work for 4 people, but we make sure to have fun every now and then. After all, we’re in the business of food and booze!”

A new niche that Dinner Lab is adding is a private events arm, Dinner Lab catering, that can take care of the food and beverage for any event – wedding, corporate events, etc.

Bordainick’s wish, after you’ve experienced one of their unique pop-up dining experiences, is that you’d say, “Wow – I’ve been living in Indianapolis for my entire life and I never knew about this space! The food was so inventive – I didn’t think the flavors would work together but they really did. I can’t wait for the next one!”

Here is a One Page Summary of Dinner Lab, as well as other cities where it currently operates:
Dinner Lab One Pager

Here is an extended history of Dinner Lab:
Dinner Lab History

For more information, email Edie Feinstein: efeinstein@dinnerlab.com

Details for Indianapolis Dinner Lab

Indianapolis membership will be going live at dinnerlab.com on Tuesday 3/24.

$125 per person gets access to the calendar for the year not only in Indianapolis but in all of our markets across the country (currently 30). Each member can purchase up to four tickets to each event.

Once the membership is purchased, people will immediately be able to buy tickets for the launch event which is planned for July 17th with Chef Danny Stoller.

About the dinner:

A celebration of all things PNW (Pacific Northwest for the geographically challenged)

Chef Danny Stoller

Birthplace
Seattle
Last places lived
Seattle, Boston, Olympia (WA)
Learning Institutions
Northeastern University, Seattle Culinary Academy
Last 5 places/restaurants worked
Revel, Tilth, LUC, Ray’s Boathouse, Black Bottle
Current gig
Dinner Lab

Menu:
Charred corn consomme
hush puppy | lime creme fraiche | beech mushroom

Trumpet Mushroom Flan
carrot & apple slaw | kettle corn | pea shoots

Cured Trout Salad
mizuna pesto | roasted beet cake | celery root puree | hazelnuts

Grilled Leg of Lamb
white beans & tomato confit | red eye colatura

Carrot Sponge Cake
dulce de leche sorbet | celery heart | olive oil

Location: TBA 24 hours prior to the event.

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Current, Former Carmel Signarama Owners Both Come Out Ahead

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Carmel Signarama owner Jay Patel

Carmel Signarama owner Jay Patel


(Carmel, Indiana)—One of the most basic axioms of a successful business deal is that the smoothest transaction is the one which leaves all parties happy. Current Carmel Signarama owner Jay Patel and former owner Joel Hall can both tell you firsthand how true that statement really is. In March, 2014, Patel purchased then-owner Hall’s successful Signarama business where he has since worked to both maintain business continuity to keep existing customers happy, while also putting his own stamp on the business as he seeks continued growth.

From his side of the transaction, Joel Hall, the store’s previous owner, found the process to be just as painless. “I worked hard to build a solid business and increased the value of this location by 400%,” says Hall. “United Franchise Group, the parent company for Signarama, values the overall business ownership process as an exit strategy.”

That’s the purpose of Signarama’s Mentor Program, which Hall headed up for the world’s largest sign franchise. “We found that experienced business buyers value the mentor program. Franchisee peer support and transition planning comes from our group and the new franchisees benefit greatly from taking part in it during a resale such as ours,” Hall adds.

In fact, Hall enjoyed his part in the Signarama Mentor Program so much, it was one of the reasons he sold his business and says, “This is the Best Exit Strategy One Could Have.” He is now pursuing his passion of educating college students on entrepreneurship and owning a business or a franchise.

Former Signarama owner Joel Hall

Former Signarama owner Joel Hall

Patel is working to keep—and grow—upon Hall’s success. “First and foremost, I placed an emphasis on keeping the customers that have been coming here for years,” says Patel. “It was nice to own a business that had already proven to be successful.” No stranger to entrepreneurship, Patel has business acumen gained from over 18 years of successful ownership experience, beginning with a single dry cleaning company which expanded to five by the time he sold the operation, as well as experience as the owner of a non-emergency medical transportation business.

For his part as both a former owner and reseller, Hall shares his advice for the next-generation of franchisees. “There is an incredible amount of work that needs to be put in to running and growing a business. At some point the business will transition into new management or ownership and many owners worry about ‘what am I going to do?’ after the business sells. During my ‘journey’ I found out that I like to teach. So, after 14 years of building a successful business and then selling it, I now teach full time and love it. The hard work does pay off.”

ABOUT SIGNARAMA
Signarama, www.signarama.com, the world’s largest sign franchise, offers branding and messaging solutions in addition to comprehensive sign and graphic services to consumers and commercial customers – from business signs, vehicle wraps, and digital signs, to advertising and marketing services. Signarama is part of a successful system of business-to-business franchise brands and development services under the United Franchise Group. As part of the $49-billion-plus worldwide sign market, Signarama has been at the forefront of the sign industry for more than two decades. Approaching 900 locations worldwide, the company expects to have more than 1,200 locations worldwide by the end of 2016.

For additional information, contact:
Jason Sophian
Sanderson & Associates
jason@sandersonpr.com
312-829-4350

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6 Secrets to a Successful Content Marketing Team – What I’ve Learned

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

kylepic

In October 2012, Jeff Rohrs and I started the content marketing team at the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud with two people, a research series and a small blog. Under Jeff’s leadership over the course of the next year, we spent time investing heavily in content creation, working with the extremely talented interactive team on blog design, and transitioning into a global content publisher. We have since been added to the digital marketing team under Daniel Incandela and have grown exponentially under his leadership. We’ve been lucky because the majority of ideas have worked and our people are the best at what they do.

Here’s our hit list for 2012-2014:

•We now publish unique content on blogs in six countries.
•Our research series spans multiple countries and languages.
•We will hit 1,000,000 visits on the US blog in 2014 (up over 70% yoy).
•Video is published for six countries (four languages) on our YouTube site. We manage relationships in each geo with subscriber counts growing 300% over the past year.
•We have over 80 unique authors on the blog network.
•Smart CTAs that deliver specific deliverables to readers based on content tagging and geography.
•200% increase in lead growth from the blog over the past year.
•Influencing and contributing directly to millions of dollars in business for the company.

I honestly don’t know if there are any secrets to the success over the past year. I have definitely made plenty mistakes and my only redeeming factor is that I have a team that is more intelligent than I ever will be and a company that is comprised of the smartest people in the industry. Here’s the team – Bo Dietrick, Tom Corey, Heike Young, Tony Mulinaro, Drew Beechler, Jen Ribble, Chad White, Andrea Smith, Julie Easton, and Devon McGinnis.

So how did (do) we do it ?

1.Understand and speak to industry trends. We spend hours upon hours reading and analyzing content that deals directly with industry trends. From snapchat to Amazon Cart, we are constantly developing content around technology shifts that may effect the marketer of tomorrow. It also keeps us informed and helps with our professional careers.

2.People are paramount. Like I said above, people are everything. I have definitely made plenty of mistakes and without a patient and extremely intelligent team we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today. Hire the right people and invest constantly.

3.The translation process is extremely important to any global success. One thing we learned early on was the right translation partner is extremely important to scaling content globally. Errors within the translation process will screw up any timeline and will be extremely tiresome for any team to deal with… especially with non-english speaking locations.

4.Content should be personalized. The personalization of content is a trend that we have been moving toward ever since the inception of the team in 2012. Right now, we personalize CTAs based on what an individual is reading on the blog and their location. In the near future, we will be using Predictive Intelligence to personalize much more than just the CTA content on each individual page. As content marketers, we should use data to deliver a more personalized experience to any reader.

5.Analytics should be worshipped. We could always be better at this but the digital team at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud spends constant hours analyzing and testing content on all web properties. I believe that the success of our content is mostly due to our ability to analyze data and create great content. They go hand in hand.

6.Spend money on your content. My good friend Jay Baer puts it best, “Your marketing should be so good… people would pay for it.” Create content that drives consumption to the point where people would be willing to pay for it. Is your content that good? If it is, you should be spending money advertising your content. It should be read and shared… most of the time you need to market your marketing.

Ultimately, a great content marketing team is focused on delivering the best content for their customers and readers. If the content is not helping the individual move forward in life… you better move other because someone is about to take your place.

Kyle lacy
ExactTarget, a Salesforce.com company
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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