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How to kill a Business; Or Do alienate the Customer Base!

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
How to kill a Business; Or Do alienate the Customer Base!
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 9:35 AM

Yikes: 

      Another name bites the dust! Here I thought that Squadron would be around when I kicked the Bucket! You See, it's simple folks. Good fer instance, Years ago I bought a company that was falling on it's face. I turned it around with supportive management and an attention to customer's needs. Then I bought a hammering along great small company. I changed nothing except the age and type of equipment! That one, when  sold,  lasted another twelve years until a group of unknowing Investment banker types bought it. They ran it into the ground.

     Now, here's what I would do. Does anyone watch Undercover Boss( Is it even still on?). When I bought the first Company, no one knew who I was. I operated saws and tools in the shop. I built cabinets then welded frames and so on. No one knew I was the owner. I wanted to learn from the inside BEFORE I made any changes if any! I made a few that were positive in the affect they had on quality and employee satisfaction. Remember the old saw? "A Happy Wife means a Happy Life!". Well, it applies to companies too. If your employees TRUST YOU and RESPECT YOU then you're good to go!

      This is not something you get automatically! You have to prove you are going to do everyting to keep the doors open and the jobs or orders coming in! When you fail by Not realizing you are going the wrong way you are doomed. I am surprised at the Stupidity and Arrogance of some Investment Conglomerates today. They will force a takeover then take the company down roads it was never meant to go. You never change markets in Mid Stream! You add them slowly after a great deal of study concerning the viability of the avenue you want to go.

      In other words, Don't kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg, get her to lay more!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 9:10 AM

Those holding companies and investment buyers are only interested in the short sell. They are like the movie "Other People's Money." Come in, buy out sell off. Rarely, if ever, does the customer get a better product or service. Here in New England, the ubiquiutous Dunkin' Donuts was bought by an investment firm. It went from a coffee shop with a counter, proceain coffee mugs and donuts made fresh in the store. A palce to congregate. After the buy out, the counters were gone, donuts were made centrally and delivers maybe on a daily basis selection went down and drive through became #1 prority at the expense of the customer in the store with cash in hand. We hand a very good departemnt store, Lechmere Sales. It was taken over by Montgomery Ward. In very short order, it, too, was gone. Frindlly's Ice Cream was a familty owned business and dominated the ice cream and casual dining market. Multiple megacorp buyers reduced service, selection and increased prices. It's on the verge of disappearing from the market it owned.

 

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 11:01 AM

When I got into the auto body trade, I was told, do 20 good jobs, you might get 1 referral.  Do 1 bad job, and 20 went down the road you'll never see.

The same holds true in everything.

Now days, that road seems to be racking up a lot of miles.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 11:09 AM

ajlafleche

...Frindlly's Ice Cream was a familty owned business and dominated the ice cream and casual dining market. Multiple megacorp buyers reduced service, selection and increased prices. It's on the verge of disappearing from the market it owned.

No! Not Friendly's!! Well, I left New England in January 2005 and haven't been back since, but Friendly's was a place I enjoyed in my hometown in Vermont, during my college years on Long Island, and Army service in Massachussetts and New Jersey.

Jef's video, if you can filter through rambling, says the board of directors of the investment group were trying to help, but the CEO they placed decided to go into a different direction with a different vision. That alienated customers, didn't attract new customers, and basically became a place you ordered stuff from and they in turn would order the items from someone else.

We all know that that is what killed other online modeling shops.

  • Member since
    June 2010
Posted by montague on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 3:19 PM

Really, why are we up in arms over squadron? No one really used them anymore, they had no stock and everone knew it was coming for years. There is no surprise here. One poorly run company goes under, another will rise to take it's place. Free market at it's best. I feel sorry for those that will loose their $ but it was pretty foolish to let them have your money for months without delivery. That is why I use Pay Pal.

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Boston
Posted by Wilbur Wright on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 3:41 PM

The whole thing is unfortunate, however an investment firm that knows nothing about the modeling world doesn't care about anything.  Saying they are going to change Squadron into a "collectables" firm is absurd.  Like saying I'm going to turn a basketball factory into making soup bowls that look like basketballs.

Any smart general manager would have looked at the current market for plastic models online then made a decision.  Squadron could never compete with Scale Hobbyist as is.  Their prices have been sky high for years, and I would ony buy if they had something I couldn't get anywhere else.  Last thing I got there was the CMK 1/72 german u-boat interiors and I paid $180. for three of them years ago.

 

That said,  I will miss the printed mailings.  Sadly like many things they are  thing of the past.

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 4:29 PM

I will miss the printed catalogs, too.  I always kept one in the "library", just to pass the time.  That was the limit of my involvement with them, for the past few years.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5:44 PM

Cadet Chuck

I will miss the printed catalogs, too.  I always kept one in the "library", just to pass the time.  That was the limit of my involvement with them, for the past few years.

 

Me three.

-Greg

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 6:20 PM

If people were just reading them, and not actually buying anything for years, what was the point of the continuous tree killing then? Squadron made a lot of bad decisions, and failed to adapt to the internet until it was much too late. Thus, they are dead. 

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:02 PM

In my industry, I think a lot of it has to do with a climate of growth through acquisition: buy the competition, consolidate/eliminate the redundencies, and keep playing the cards right so you are the last business standing.  What difference does the customer's opinion make if you are the only game in town?  Or if the customer's choice is between bad service and worse service?  As long as you are less bad than your competitor and the customer needs your service/product, there is no incentive to do more than the bare minimum.

I don't subscribe to this thought process, but it seems to increasingly be the norm.

 

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:30 AM

Greg

 

 
Cadet Chuck

I will miss the printed catalogs, too.  I always kept one in the "library", just to pass the time.  That was the limit of my involvement with them, for the past few years.

 

 

 

Me three.

 

 

Ditto

I do get email flyers from several vendors, but it is not like the printed catalog.  Not much is in the email even after you select "show remote information."  I suggest they just immediately take us to a web site, that web page would have several pages of new items, with images and prices, so I don't need to be clicking on a bunch of links to their regular catalog pages.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Thursday, January 21, 2021 9:11 AM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
 

 

No! Not Friendly's!! Well, I left New England in January 2005 and haven't been back since, but Friendly's was a place I enjoyed in my hometown in Vermont, during my college years on Long Island, and Army service in Massachussetts and New Jersey.

 

The news this morning reported Friendly's was bought by yet another investment group, Amici Partners Group, LLC. They say they plan to keep the remaining 139 stores open. We'll see. 

I, too, in the past enjoyed/relied on Friendly's. It's the first place Judy and I shared a meal and when I worked in the Auburn Mall, it was the most convenient palce to get food or drink while at work.  

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Thursday, January 21, 2021 2:52 PM

ajlafleche

Those holding companies and investment buyers are only interested in the short sell. They are like the movie "Other People's Money." Come in, buy out sell off. Rarely, if ever, does the customer get a better product or service. Here in New England, the ubiquiutous Dunkin' Donuts was bought by an investment firm. It went from a coffee shop with a counter, proceain coffee mugs and donuts made fresh in the store. A palce to congregate. After the buy out, the counters were gone, donuts were made centrally and delivers maybe on a daily basis selection went down and drive through became #1 prority at the expense of the customer in the store with cash in hand. We hand a very good departemnt store, Lechmere Sales. It was taken over by Montgomery Ward. In very short order, it, too, was gone. Frindlly's Ice Cream was a familty owned business and dominated the ice cream and casual dining market. Multiple megacorp buyers reduced service, selection and increased prices. It's on the verge of disappearing from the market it owned.

 

 

Sally, I think this is the direction that ALL dunkin' donuts are headed, if they aren't already there.  Here in South East PA, that is how it's run...gone are the days of the little mustachioed man waking up because "it's time to make the donuts".  And maybe it's just my aging digestive system, but the quality has decreased as well....

"...failure to do anything because someone else can do better makes us rather dull and lazy..."

Mortal as I am,I know that I am born for a day.  But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth...

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, January 22, 2021 1:32 AM

MJames70

If people were just reading them, and not actually buying anything for years, what was the point of the continuous tree killing then? Squadron made a lot of bad decisions, and failed to adapt to the internet until it was much too late. Thus, they are dead. 

 

The problem with their printed flyer was that after they were under new management, their prices were no longer the great deal they used to be. And when they did have a good price, the selection was not great. Once some of the better brands started disappearing like Tamiya and Dragon (for armor kits), they didn't appeal any longer.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Friday, January 22, 2021 10:47 AM

I have worked for a number of companies that when I started, were owned by an LLC  with a great reputation for a brand that was backed by high quality and service. Then the day would come we would be told we were bought by and investment group, and then came in the career CEO who's job was to clean all the meat off the bone, as an engineer, I was usually the meat, and continue to sell a rotting carcus made and supported the cheapest way possible until the brand was no longer profitable, then they would liquidate it, write off the loss agaist income on other investments, and look for another victim to buy and exploit.

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Friday, January 22, 2021 11:52 PM

So true. So sad. But there you have it. In Australia we had many companys that were Australian icons. But overseas investment and the need for big returns for shareholders killed them. I don't think we have any major Australian brands left.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 23, 2021 12:44 PM

Dodgy

So true. So sad. But there you have it. In Australia we had many companys that were Australian icons. But overseas investment and the need for big returns for shareholders killed them. I don't think we have any major Australian brands left.

We're also losing magazines here in the US. I used to subscribe to several, but let them expire because they seemed more like a chore to crack open.

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Sunday, January 24, 2021 6:51 AM

Dodgy

So true. So sad. But there you have it. In Australia we had many companys that were Australian icons. But overseas investment and the need for big returns for shareholders killed them. I don't think we have any major Australian brands left.

 

Still have Vegemite right? Recall reading it was purchased from Kraft and is an Australian brand again. 
 

 

 
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 24, 2021 7:14 AM

I'm very fortunate to be working for a fairly large company that has always refused unions and has never been publicly traded.  They have kept their focus where it belongs, on their core customers.  They did, however, take a chance on expanding into a new sub-market, and I was the guy lucky enough to be chosen by them to get that done.  Business is booming, I've traveled to all kinds of cool places supporting our customers, and I found out recently just how good their self-insured health coverage is.  Heh...I'm the one million dollar man now(one-sixth as awesome as Steve Austin), very little of that came out of my own pocket, and I'm still on this side of the astroturf.  Nothing wrong with seeking out an additional customer base, just as long as you don't forget your existing customer base and what made them choose you over your competitors.  I stopped using Squadron a few years ago when I saw their inventory dwindling down to nothing.  You can't keep an inventory-based business going when you're constantly telling your customers "We don't have that either, but we can get it."

Heh...that reminds me of this old Monty Python sketch.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

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