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Erma Bombeck once said, “When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” Although it can be that way with my father, too, I don’t mind. The truth is, my Dad is full of good advice.



This month, in honor of Father’s Day, I’m featuring advice from my father. For over forty years Dad owned and ran a printing and office supplies business catering to L.A.’s garment district, so he knows a thing or two about business. Here are some of his words of wisdom:

  • Anything worth doing is worth doing right – In the marketing context, “doing it right” includes creating a marketing plan, hiring professionals (such as a marketing writer and a graphic designer) to help you create any marketing materials needed to implement your plan, and then tracking your results.

  • You can’t sell from empty shelves – Whether you have a physical retail store like Dad did, or an e-commerce business where you’re doing your own fulfillment, you need to invest in inventory. This is especially true in today’s instant gratification culture. If you don’t have the desired items in stock, customers will find someone who does.

  • You need to know what you’re selling & to whom – Shelves full of the wrong things won’t do you any good. Whether you’re selling products or services, you need to understand your target market. What can you sell that will solve their problems, meet their needs or improve their lives? And exactly how will it do so?
  • You must have infrastructure in place – This includes everything from your IT and bookkeeping systems to inventory control, equipment and the people to get the work done.
  • The customer is always right – There is nothing worse than a customer who feels that they’ve been wronged. Even if the problem was the customer’s own fault, such as if they supplied their own artwork and then weren’t happy with how that design looked once printed, Dad would still refund their money or find a way to make them feel that the “wrong” had been righted.

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"Holy mother of God...this first draft is perfect! Like perfect! It's everything I wanted to say but just couldn't! Thank you thank you thank you Linda!"

Mark McManus
President, DisasterFree