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Business idea: Dripstik

Website: http://www.dripstik.com/home.html

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February 27, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, invention, Million dollars Idea, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | Leave a comment

Business idea: My Plate-Mate

Website: http://myplate-mate.com/

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, invention, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | | Leave a comment

Business idea: TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie. The original TOMS shoe has a unique slip-on design comprised of lightweight fabrics in various colors and prints. The idea of TOMS was inspired by Blake’s trip to Argentina where he saw the traditional Argentine alpargata. Struck by the poverty and health issues of the country, he set out to reinvent the alpargata for the U.S. market. To realize this concept, Blake made a commitment to match every pair of TOMS purchased with a pair to a child in need. When you buy a pair of TOMS, the company will give a pair on your behalf. During the first year in business, TOMS sold 10,000 pairs of shoes. Blake returned to Argentina to lead his first Shoe Drop during which he gave to the children who had inspired him. In November 2007, TOMS had its second Shoe Drop, placing 50,000 pairs of shoes on children in South Africa. In the fall of 2008, TOMS had its first Shoe Drop in the United States, giving shoes in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. TOMS Shoes are now available in multiple colors and fabric combinations for men and women and include a line of shoes for toddlers called Tiny TOMS. The collection is available at specialty stores and retailers across the United States including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Whole Foods Market and Urban_Outfitters. In 2007, TOMS Shoes was honored with the prestigious People’s Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Time line

January 2006: TOMS is founded
March 2006: First intern is hired, office opens out of Blake’s loft in Venice, CA
June 2006: TOMS ships 2,000 shoes to the first customers
October 2006: Blake returns to Argentina with friends and family to give 10,000 pairs of shoes
October 2006: TOMS featured in Vogue Magazine
May 2007: TOMS moves to new HQ warehouse office space in Santa Monica, CA
October 2007: TOMS receives the Cooper Hewitt People’s Choice Design Award, Smithsonian Institution
November 2007: 40+ employees, friends, and family take 50,000 pairs of shoes to children in South Africa
May 2008: The TOMS documentary film, For Tomorrow, premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival
August 2008: TOMS launches the Wrap Boot
September 2008: TOMS Pop Up Store opens in Venice on Abbot Kinney, less than one mile from where TOMS Shoes was founded

More video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM5EbLimwDo&feature=related

CNN interview: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/03/30/small.biz.knobstoppers.cnn

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , | Leave a comment

Business Idea: Zuca

http://www.zuca.com/video/index.php

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, invention, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , | 2 Comments

Young millionaire: Todd Graves

Todd Graves (born February 20, 1972)  is an American entrepreneur and the founder, chairman and CEO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a quick-service restaurant that offers fried chicken fingers as its only main course. Graves, along with Craig Silvey, founded the restaurant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on August 26, 1996. Graves had a vision for a quick-service restaurant focusing on a simple menu item, chicken fingers. Unable to gain financing, Graves decided to raise his own capital and worked as a boilermaker in Los Angeles, California and a commercial sockeye salmon fisherman in Naknek, Alaska. On August 26, 1996, Graves opened Raising Cane’s for business. Over the next 12 years, Graves would oversee the company expansion to over 70 restaurants and over $100 million in annual sales. The Baton Rouge Business Report, a local business news magazine, named Graves the Young Businessperson of the Year for 2002. Additionally, the Business Report named Graves to their 2000 Top 40 Under 40 list, a recognition given to young businessmen and women in the Baton Rouge Capital Region for their achievements before the age of 40. Graves has also been named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 award winner.

What’s their secret? Concept: doing one thing and doing it well

If you ask Raising Cane’s CEO and founder Todd Graves what the secret is to his company’s success, he will tell you it’s being committed to a vision and having a quality product and a cool corporate culture with great “crew members.”

But there’s an even simpler and more fundamental reason that the chicken-fingers chain has grown to a $97.4 million company with 73 stores in 13 states and limitless plans for expansion: It focuses on one thing and doing it well.

“We stay focused and committed to that one love,” Graves says. “We do one thing, and we do it better than anyone else.”

That was Graves’ intent when he founded the company: to sell just one product, but to do it right. That product was a high-quality meal of fresh fried chicken fingers, and the target market was the college crowd. Back then, however, Graves and partner Craig Silvey had their eye on just a single location outside the North Gates of LSU.

The rest of the story is the stuff that has become local lore. A business school professor told Graves, then a student, his plan had no future. Local banks wanted no part of it, either. He worked 20 hour days as a commercial fisherman in Alaska to raise the seed money to launch his dream.

From those humble beginnings in 1996, the company has grown exponentially, particularly in recent years. Employees now number more than 2,300, and the chain has an expanding presence throughout the South and West, with a mix of company- and franchise-owned stores.

When the company moves into a new market, it seeks to establish itself through aggressive promotional campaigns. It advertises heavily on local airwaves and, more important, gives away copious amounts of its chicken fingers, banking that once people try their product they’ll come back for more.

“Then, once we get them in the door, we’ve got them,” Graves says.

While focusing on a limited menu has been one of the biggest factors behind Cane’s success, another key has been the fun ambience of the restaurants, which are decked out with ceiling fans and sports or movie posters, and the playful attitude of its employees.

“If we had people who didn’t care and weren’t inspired, our sales wouldn’t be nearly where they are today,” Graves says.

The company recently announced plans to relocate the bulk of its corporate operations to Dallas, though Graves maintains Baton Rouge will remain the company’s headquarters. It’s a move designed to fuel even more growth and enable Cane’s to join the ranks of the big-time, fast-food chains, which have thousands of outlets around the world.

“We want to be international,” Graves says. “This is the next logical step.”

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , | Leave a comment

business idea: Kim & Scott’s Gourmat Pretzels

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | | Leave a comment

Business Idea: The FruitGuys

Chris Mittelstaedt, 39

The Fruitguys, South San Francisco, California
Projected 2008 sales:
$10 million
Description: Fresh fruit delivery service for workplaces

 

Staying the course: Chris Mittelstaedt was just a child at the controls of a Cessna aircraft when he got his first lesson in business. An entrepreneur  and a pilot, Mittelstaedt’s father taught him the importance of keeping an eye out for early indications of trouble. Later on, when the dotcom bust severely damaged his regional fruit delivery business, leaving The FruitGuys with about $50,000 of bad debt after customers went belly up–and Mittelstaedt with $100,000 of personal debt–that lesson took on special meaning. “We were growing so fast at the time, and I wasn’t paying attention to my dashboard or thinking macroeconomically,” admits Mittelstaedt. He recovered by restructuring his business to include a tighter credit policy, more variable costs and national expansion.

 

Labor of love: The dotcom crash wasn’t Mittelstaedt’s first brush with adversity. Since the beginning, necessity has forced him to turn up the juice. In 1998, Mittelstaedt was earning $9.50 an hour at a temp job when he learned his wife was pregnant. With no time to waste, he launched his business. By starting his 18-hour days at midnight, lugging heavy crates of produce and making the deliveries personally, his business slowly came to fruition.

Inner core: A decade later, The FruitGuys has grown into a full-scale operation that delivers fresh, high-quality produce to more than 3,000 businesses nationwide. But at the pit of the company is a proactive effort to promote wellness in the community–whether it’s by helping clients establish athletic clubs at the office, reaching out to low-income communities or working with farmers to maintain sustainable businesses.

 

Follow his lead: Weather upcoming storms by keeping your eye on the horizon.

Online Exclusive

What is your secret to success?
Mittelstaedt: My secret to success is thinking about all the options and never giving up. In this industry…it literally required feats of herculean effort from a physical standpoint–getting up at midnight, sleeping five hours a day, lifting 50-pound boxes over and over again all day long, making deliveries, going in and out of trucks, doing sales on the phone and managing the books. It’s really a matter of not giving up, having the vision and also being humble enough to take critical feedback from people.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?
Mittelstaedt: If you believe in what you’re doing, don’t give up, even when people are saying it’s not going to work. There are lots of examples in history of people who were amazing entrepreneurs, visionaries–people who believed in something and continued to go for it. Persevere and understand that it truly is a marathon. I’m always skeptical of get-rich- quick stuff. If you believe in it, root down and go for it.

When did you know you’d “made it”?
Mittelstaedt: I still don’t know that we’ve made it, to be honest. I think that’s actually one of the secrets to my success. I’m not going to believe that we’ve made it, and I’m going to keep pushing. I have a healthy dose of worst-case-scenario thinking, and that actually helps me be successful. Things are going to fall apart, so how do I avoid it, how do I grow fast, and how do I bring out great things and avoid the pitfalls when I’m doing it?

What was the first toy or reward you bought for yourself when you became successful?
Mittelstaedt: The Prius was the first new car I ever bought. That’s the only reward I’ve given myself.

Link: http://www.entrepreneur.com/worklife/successstories/youngmillionaires/article196572.html

February 7, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Uncategorized, Youtube | , | 1 Comment

HAPPY BIRTHDAY “WRITER”

 

It’s been THREE YEARS!!!!! since “writer” blog first started. Hopefully it has inspired you, the viewers, to accomplish your goals whether it’s business-wise or not. Happy Birthday and many posting in the future.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Business Lesson: founder of chick-fil A

Chick-fil-A has historically been most closely identified with shopping malls, as the majority of its first locations were in malls. However, in recent years, most of its growth has been in freestanding units with sit-down and drive-through service; as of October 2007, the chain has over 700 freestanding units. It also has drive-through-only locations and has placed its restaurants in universities, hospitals, and airports through licensing agreements.

The chain grew from the Dwarf Grill (later the Dwarf House, a name still used by the chain), a restaurant opened by S. Truett Cathy, who is still the company’s chairman, in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville in 1946. This restaurant is located near a now defunct Ford plant, where workers once caught meals between shifts. The first Chick-fil-A opened in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967. The current slogan, “We Didn’t Invent the Chicken, Just the Chicken Sandwich,” is based on a true story: at a time when hamburgers dominated fast-food menus since the beginning, Cathy was credited with creating and inventing the chicken sandwich, which went on to be Chick-fil-A’s flagship menu item. His idea for the chicken sandwich stemmed from the idea of creating a quick way to serve food. He discovered that pressure cooking the chicken in peanut oil allowed for a fast serving time. The sandwich also comes with two pickles simply because that was the only condiment he had on hand when the sandwich was created.

Chick-fil-A achieved quite a bit of notability in October 2003, when it was publicly announced in a major ad campaign that a new store, opening in Goodyear, Arizona, on October 16, 2003, would offer, to the first 100 to enter its doors, coupons for a free combo meal every week for a year. Along with this promotion (which was widely featured on the Internet), the company threw a huge opening day carnival, complete with karaoke, free ice cream, klieg lights, and prize raffles. The “First 100” promotion is now held at the opening of every new Chick-fil-A restaurant, with people camping out for up to several days before the opening to guarantee their place in line.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_Fil-A

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Business, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , | Leave a comment