Comments from the Peanut Gallery - Some time ago my customer gave me a task to complete. There was some trouble getting clear requirements for the task. I did the best I could but went down...
Here is the thing. They have nice pens. When it came time to buy, I figured why not give them a shot? They persevered for such a long time. I placed an order. They had a "first time buyer" discount that sweetened the deal.
They called me up to confirm my order. Then it arrived. They even shipped it without me first paying. The invoice was included with my shipment. That's when the bad surprises came. Yeah I expected they would tack on a shipping fee. But they also added a setup fee.
The setup fee feels like what I call a garbage fee. This is not a third party fee such as the real money they have to bay UPS to deliver the package. This is some in house nonsense extra money I need to pay. Hey if you have costs, roll them into the cost of your project. Don't try to trick your customer by gouging them with a surprise fee.
It is a shame. Their marketing and project was really good. The pricing and billing killed any repeat business they might get. Now they are going to get bad publicity. Every time I talk about them, I will say they have good pens but they try to rip you off on the transaction. Fail.
My friend wanted to have another $50k to $150k in the bank. Well then maybe he should do some lucrative contracting on the side. His problem is that he is a busy guy. He barely gets his work done with all his other commitments. We got to talking. I asked him what other ways could he make a big windfall. He thought he could run a fast food franchise.
One big name that came to mind was Chick-Fil-A. I assumed my friend could not afford the franchise fee. However a little researched showed that the franchise fee was only $5k. You also needed another $5k in liquid funds to begin. Woo hoo. Sign me up. Of course there were a lot of other costs that could range between $250k and $750k. But my friend thought he could convince a bank to loan him the capital.
Who knows? Maybe this is the right way to go. Chick-Fil-A restaurants seem to always get a lot of customers in our local area. I presume there is enough demand for another restaurant or two in the area. This is running a business. Fast food might be a tough market. But with the right franchise in the right place, profits may be forthcoming.
As I was waiting for my sandwich to be cooked, I stared and the digital display of food in Burger King. Their latest promotion is for chicken fries. They got a cooky looking animated chicken running around their display. I smiled when the chicken winked and me. And I laughed when the chicken drank a coke on screen.
The problem with the chicken fries is that they just don't taste good. No amount of gimmicks is going to get me to buy them. You got to start with a good product. Then use your marketing to draw in the crowds and hook them. The hook does not work if you are selling snake oil.
The real funny thing was that the book was going for $350 from third parties on Amazon. What were those clowns doing? Maybe they used some algorithm that went wacky to price their second hand merchandise. So a book on pricing goes for a huge price. Ha ha. I already downloaded the book for free. Might just have to check it out since it comes highly recommended on Amazon.
Tonight I was doing some shopping online. I went to Kohl's. Found I could use my $10 off coupon online. Cool. They had some furniture I needed. They also offered free shipping since my order was over $75. Things were looking up. Then on the payment page I saw that I could use up to two coupons. What? I don't want to leave any money on the table.
Spent ten minutes googling around to find a 20% off coupon that I applied. Nice. Now that I was spending at least $100, I was also expecting two $10 Kohl's cash coupons back. I was just over $100 with my taxes. I could not find details anywhere to see whether the Kohl's cash was awarded on merchandise only, or whether it included tax.
Turns out the Kohl's cash must not count the tax. Ouch. I just lost one $10 Kohl's cash oppotunity. Well we shall see how Kohl's online does for me. If the experience is good, I might just redeem the Kohl's cash and make more purchases. This experience has taught me a lesson. New merchants must navigate many chances to turn off new customers. Kohl's almost failed. Let's see if they recover.
My hosting company gave me a coupon to use. If I spent $25 on AdWords in a month, they will give me $100 of free advertising. Not sure if this is a global campaign bonus, or just an incentive for some type of local AdWords deal. I need to attract global customers.
Hey. I guess it is worth a try. However I figure it will take more than $25 or $100 to figure out how to use AdWords effectively. But I got to start somewhere. Why not start with AdWords?
Step 1 of the guide wanted me to download their software. To download the software, I need to log in. To log in, I need a username a password. Clicked the register tab. Nothing happened. I can't log in. I can't download their software. Fail.
Okay. I am a good guy. I will let them know something is screwed up on their registration page. Tried to leave a comment on their evolution of source code control page. It required me to log in. Okay. I got a Google ID. I clicked the button to authenticate using Google. But get this. I could not choose my Google ID.
Umm, maybe it is a good thing I found out how messed up their web site was. Do I want their software controlling my source code? No way in hell. I had better go to some t-shirt web site, and pay $20 for my own Breaking Bad t-shirt.