Michael Girdley Profile picture
Entrepreneur and Investor. Specialist Generalist.
Cameron Priest Profile picture Peter Cellino Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
27 Nov
How do you avoid fraud?

If you own a business and someone hasn't stolen from you, either you haven't owned it for very long or you haven't found the fraud yet.

It's a constant battle.

There are ways to reduce fight it by being smart.

Here are some.
1) Reduce the number of people who can authorize payments and/or sign checks.

Keep cash payments as close to zero as you can.

Don't use a signature stamp or automated approval.
2) If you're the owner, you can and should look at bank statements yourself.

Don't let another employee get them for you.
Read 22 tweets
25 Nov
B2C Saas is so painful.

Mostly because of these guys.

Related: They all congregate on Hacker News.
You can do this same thing for every B2C app in history.
"Ugh. I can't believe this app shows me every co-ed and not just the cute ones."

Read 6 tweets
25 Nov
Niche business case study time!

US beach towns are filled with giant souvenir and beachwear shops.

They are huge, undifferentiated and selling about the same junk.

What about this market made this happen?
Twitter only allows four photos per tweet.

In a single mile stretch in this town i texas, I counted 11 stores of this size.

To compare, there are two grocery stores in the same area.
My thoughts:

-high margin, mostly same products (cheap Chinese junk)

-customers want "experience" when shopping so looking for biggest store to visit

-customers not repeat buyers so no branding really

-operators ok w low returns

So vendors compete on size and location.
Read 4 tweets
24 Oct
Time for Part 2 of the @CoffeeToro story that I'm live-tweeting!

Last week, we left with the idea these drive-through coffee kiosks are an attractive business *for me* to pursue.

How do we develop a plan to do it?

(Part 1 is here: )
I do a type of entrepreneurship best matching this: effectuation.org

I didn’t invent it — but backed into it naturally and didn’t even know it had a name until @prasanna_says told me.

Basically: you run lots of scientific experiments that start small and build on them.
So back to coffee...

The first step to making a huge coffee company is opening a small coffee co.

So how do I run a “learning test” by opening a store?
Read 8 tweets
17 Oct
I’m starting a new venture with some partners.

It’s called @coffeetoro.

I’m going to live-tweet it.

I’ll walk through how I’m going from concept to (hopefully) profitable business.

I hope it’ll at least be entertaining.
What is it?

We are starting a chain of drive-through( coffee stores/kiosks.

The kind you see all over the pacific northwest.

But haven’t made it to most of Middle America yet.

(Mockup attached)
Let’s start at the beginning.

Where did the idea come from?

About three years ago, I read that coffee shops have the lowest failure rate of any food/beverage biz.

It’s something like 90% success rate. Only dentists do better as SMB startups!

I filed that away.
Read 9 tweets
5 Oct
A thread on business partnerships.

Everyone seems to have nightmare stories about them.

How do you make them work?

Here are some lessons learned.

Have a written "divorce" planned at the start.

My favorite is a push-pull single-trigger buy-sell:

Any party can decide they want out. Party A offers Party B $x/share. B has 60 days to sell or buy out A at the same terms.

Lawyers can put this in.

Mentally prepare yourself to be rich and not king.

This is easier said than done.

You have to put your ego and often your pocketbook as a secondary thing to have everyone winning together.

Read 13 tweets