My name is Adam Dustus. I'll officially be a published novelist in a few short weeks. Couldn't have done it without frequenting your all-night store on Grand River, as well as the one on Lake Lansing.
All the best, Adam.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Reprinted from March of 2008
This is an essay....it may be too serious for some, so I want to stop you right here if your not in the right frame of mind. When I was driving to Grosse Pointe the other day two concepts crossed my mind on the long drive...one was ROI (and I have covered this topic in a few recent blogs), but I still owed you my thoughts on PE ratio, and so here it is....( at your own risk)
PE ratio..the definition?
The P/E ratio (price-to-earnings ratio) of a stock (also called its "earnings multiple", or simply "multiple", "P/E", or "PE") is a measure of the price paid for a share relative to the annual income or profit earned by the firm per share. A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying more for each unit of income. It is a valuation ratio included in other financial ratios. The reciprocal of the P/E ratio is known as the earnings yield.
....lifted from the wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PE_ratio
What? Fine and dandy if you're a publicly traded company and what you are doing is serving Wall Street....but where in this definition is the word 'people', whether it be 'customers', 'employees', or your 'local community'?....where is the word 'service' or 'quality'? It is blatantly missing...Oh yeah, I understand that all these things are built into the numbers and should be a reflected in the final results.
But this is where I think things get lost....Are profits important? Absolutely! It is a measuring stick of success in a capitalistic society....In any good company; profit is a reward for performance.
So if profit is a the reward for performance...then profit itself cannot be performance, only the reflection of. I think some companies out there have lost their way...because they became focused on profits and not on the performance that produces profits.
So what is the performance that produces profits....well in my opinion it begins with people...and the investment into those people...this investment is evenly distributed between employees, customers, and the community you live and work in. If a company does not put a hyper conscious effort into each of these areas it will fail....it will be a charlatan, it won't be believed or respected, or returned to....
In the end it takes a person to sell and it takes a person to buy, and if a company does not invest in both sides of that equation....then simply put, there will be no buyers and no sellers for that business.
Is the product important? Yes....but I think that almost goes without saying. Whether the product be a service or a widget....or some combination of both...without a person nothing will happen. People or even a single person is what makes the difference. Think about it? Think about the last time you went out to eat, or went to the mall, or were in any retail transaction....think about one that you can remember...one that you can remember that was a good experience. I bet you can pin that good experience directly to an interaction with a person....with a personality....and I bet you considered that a 'positive' experience.
We absolutely crave positive experiences, but generally they are very hard to find....but when we do, they impact everybody and it becomes contagious. The 'giver' feels good, the 'recipient' feels good, and they in turn spread that positive energy.
This then leads me to what I actually think PE ratio should be....it should be the Positive Energy ratio. I know, I know.....it sounds a little 'new age' and 'spiritual'.....but I come to this conclusion from honest experience. I have asked myself...why does one business grow when others falter? I can see similar products and services, I can even see that there is an investment in people, but what is the 'x-factor', what is the variable that really sets one business apart from another. I'm telling you...it's the Positive Energy....even within our own system, those operators that have a higher P/E ratio...inherently do better....by leaps and bounds.
You can have all the tools, all the mechanisms, and all the people...and it simply won't be enough. Have you ever heard the words 'smile....it's contagious'? It's true, and that’s what I am getting at here....Positive Energy output...begets positive results, conversely Negative Energy output begets negative results. Think about it this way...Think of Newton's 3rd Law of Motion...
Third Law.... Whenever a particle A exerts a force on another particle B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction. The strong form of the law further postulates that these two forces act along the same line.
This law is often simplified into the sentence "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction".
Let me say it again this way...."Every positive action has an equal and opposite positive reaction" ...that's right your Positive Energy will come right back to you....and if one uses that positive energy on employees, and customers, and community....it will all come back....and when it does, that's when you will find a profitable company....with a good PE Ratio!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Thanks JD for sending this one in... :)
Location: East Lansing, MI
Store #1 (original store)
I just wanted to tell you that not only do I think you're staff is wonderful but I also think your customers are as well. I was involved in a pay-it-forward situation today. The man a few people in front of me paid for the coffee of the three people behind him, which made my morning! I go to the original Biggby coffee on a regular basis and I always have a good experience there... your staff has a way of making me a little less angry about being awake in the morning and your coffee helps the situation as well. So I am sending this comment to not only thank you for a well trained and very friendly staff, but to also thank you for drawing in some of the best customers. So thank you, for serving the best coffee with the biggest, brightest smiles.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Here are the pictures of Jerry's Biggby Coffee Cup Collection.
He started collecting them about the start of the school year in Sept. of
2008 and ended on his birthday which is February 14th.
As you can see by the picture he has at least a couple hundred cups. Friends are often surprised when they see it. He gets a lot of compliments on it.
Tom and Sandy
PS I was first told this story by Tom at a SPOT BOB in our South Cedar Store in Lansing...I was really taken back, and asked Tom to send me a picture right away. Tom later wrote me to say that Jerry had a BIGGER plan and wouldn't B done until his B-day. Jerry I appreciate all your loyalty to BIGGBY COFFEE and really hope to meet you in person someday :)
Comment from the B-Heard Hotline C/O JD
From Leonard in Okemos, MI Store# 121
I use this BIGGBY Store as my anti-depressant medicine.
When I am feeling blue and need a mental hug I stop by. The crew there is awesome, my two favorites "Russell" and his partner especially.
The coffee is great but it is the 3 minutes of cheer that I come in for.
Gotta say not everbody hits the 'nail on the head' but this does :)
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Trust: a two-way street read below or just click on it and go there!
Trust: a two-way street
As business owners we're always trying to build trust with our customers. But can you really gain their trust unless you trust them first?
I noticed something very interesting today when I walked into Biggby for a coffee. They trust their customers so much that they have a Brewed Coffee Express area where patrons can skip the line and get their coffee. To pay they are asked to simply leave exact change in the piggy bank next to the coffee carafes?
But aren't they worried about people running off with free coffee? That would be short-sighted. In fact, for every cup of coffee that may be stolen, there are probably 100 people happy they can run in and out quickly. After all, this isn't 7-Eleven where a bunch of zit-faced high-schoolers are hanging out at the Slurpee machine.
It's a nice convenience for their customers, but more importantly its a relationship that they are building with everyone that walks into one of their stores — we trust you and hope you trust us. This is a great example of living your brand when it comes to placing the customer first. You can't fake that and you can't design it.
See my other blog post about the Biggby brand here.
[from the B-Heard Hotline C/O JD...
Wayne has the following comments regarding the Grand Rapids, MI location:
Last night I stopped by your store on East Beltline, just North of 28th St. I had never noticed the store before, but a truck was there changing out lights on the BIGGBY sign on the front of the strore.
I went in and was met with the most energy I have ever experienced in a food related store. The employees, Holly & Jenny, had me smiling and feeling good the rest of the evening. (It was in about 8pm).
I woke up this morning still laughing. So I had to commend you on an excellent store. I am now a convert :) Can't wait to go in again today!
Good bye starbucks
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
A blog about a blog.... by Mike McClure of the Yaffe Group Just go there! :)
Smaller companies can rule social media
You don't have to be a big company to be big in social media. Sure, large companies like FORD and GM have directors of social media on staff, but smaller companies who commit to it can make a big impact, too. In fact, they just may be able to do it better. Such is the case with Biggby Coffee, a coffee chain of around 150 shops based out of East Lansing, Michigan. Their whole vibe is an anti-Starbucks, fun and friendly vibe. And they're big into creating engagement with both their customers and their employees.
I'd seen Biggby Coffee shops going up around town here and decided to check them out online. Right away, they engage you when you land on the homepage. You can customize it with your own name and your choice of 5 backgrounds. There's also a trivia game you can play. But, the real engagement occurs when you enter the B Happy Lounge. Near the top of the page, their logo keeps opening and shutting with CEO Biggby Bob popping his head out and inviting you into the lounge. Once there, you have a number of things to do and links to all their social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Biggby Bob's Blog, a YouTube channel, Flickr and LinkedIn.
The first place I went was an area in the lounge that invites customers to upload a picture to enter into Biggby's "Let's Travel The World Together" photo contest. All you have to do is take a picture of anything anywhere as long as it has a Biggby cup in the shot. There are monthly and yearly winners, It's perfect to engage the rabid fan who's going to enter, but also to engage the casual fan who just enjoys viewing the photos - each a consumer generated subtle ad for Biggby.
The CEO, Biggby Bob writes the ongoing commentary for the Twitter account and uses it very effectively. It's the right mix of personal, business and fun tweets. He keeps up a pretty steady stream and was pretty quick to reply when I sent him a tweet - something you'd never get from a big company CEO. Plus, they do a good job of combining customer engagement with promotion. On different days, they do a Spot Bob promotion, where Biggby Bob sends out tweets that he will be at a certain store during a set time frame. If you spot him and come up and talk to him, he'll buy your drink. I think that's a brilliant use of social media. It drives customers to your store for a free trial and a chance to chat with a CEO. But it's done in a non-selling way, one that is acceptable in a social media setting. Plus, the company gets ongoing, instant feedback from its customers during these chats.
Their YouTube channel is a way to connect with both the customer base and the employees. Much of the videos there are interviews Biggby Bob did with his hand held camera in different stores with the winners of their barista competition. Fans can nominate their favorite barista for the honor on Biggby's Facebook fan pageand see their winning barista talk on the YouTube channel. And when you become a fan on Facebook, a day or so later you get a friend invitation from Biggby Bob, generating yet another connection to me, the customer. Bob often records random videos of stuff on his travels from store to store and posts them on the Facebook sites.
With all this and many other things they're doing, Biggby shows that by being committed to it, you can create a strong, multi-channel social media campaign that connects and engages your fans in so many ways, no matter what your size. And they carry that vibe into the store experience, too. My visits so far have found the same commitment to engaging their customers on the employee level, in person, as they do on a corporate level online. They brew a pretty darn good cup of coffee, too.
Mike McClure, executive creative director in need of a coffee fix
07:31 PM | Permalink
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Thanks for the story Cathy...a little rough on the competition, but it's always nice to hear good stuff about BIGGBY :)
After consistently getting treatedly rudely by Starbucks employees, and swearing that I would never put foot in one again, I found myself standing in line at the one in Dearborn Heights, MI yesterday. (I had mistakenly driven past my Biggby's and didn't have time to turn around.)
As usual, the employees at this store (like all Starbucks) are unsmiling and terse, at best. I won't bore you with the details, but I am back to my resolution of NEVER EVER going back to a Starbucks.
To soothe my hurt feelings, I walked into my Livonia, MI store this morning - and, sure enough, there were those friendly, smiling, welcoming faces - patiently waiting while I stumble through my order - never having to worry about using the right 'lingo' - feeling like they're always - honestly - glad to see me.