Monthly Archives: February 2008

Swap the Water for Whiskey and You’ve Got a Deal!

I love Jack Daniels whiskey but I almost never drink it. I’m a wine drinker, mostly. But if I was to order whiskey, it would definitely be Jack.

The Jack Daniels distillery is about a 45 minute drive from my condo, and I love to take visitors there for the tour. It is a beautiful piece of property in the hills of Tennessee, and the story behind Jack’s whiskey makes great telling.

On a quick trip to the liquor store for a bottle of wine on my lunch break, I found they had added a display to the storefront and snapped this photo. I love this waterfall arrangement of whiskey barrels. So very Tennessee.

Jacks Waterfall

Last Day Lunch

Our CFO has resigned and we are all in shock. It seems that he has wanted to leave for quite a while but had the strength of character to see us through the end of the year and get the books closed. I have to admire him for that. It would have been so easy to just walk out of the door and not look back. Personally, ever time I have a left a company I felt great pride in knowing that I left my desk and records in good order and that whoever took my place would be able to hit the ground running if they would spend just a little time going over the files and notes that I left for them.

Anyway, his background is in healthcare management and this business is so different that he never really felt comfortable here. In this town, there is a lot of money to be made in healthcare and once the industry got the word that he was looking to leave, he had several big offers to consider. I really can’t blame him for going back to that, but we will miss him.

I’m organizing a group of department managers to take him out to lunch for his last day. It will be hard to get a table for so many people on a Friday, I’m having my assistant check on just reserving a private room for us, maybe at Stoney River or Romanos.

Database Work

Today we are building a database with the leads from the IFA convention and getting ready to launch a followup campaign. We’ve been setting up the database program to get it ready for the data input. That’s what my assistants are working on today. Then, next week we turn it over to the sale team for the calls and hopefully setting up appointments.

Although telemarketing has become a bad word to a lot of people, it is still a very effective way to market business services and products. The key is to find the right targeted audience and not waste time or resources contacting people who have no use for your services or don’t have the means to pay for or utilize what you are trying to sell.

A good telemarketing company can help a business launch a one time campaign. They will have the trained staff that you don’t have to worry about hiring, finding desk space for, training and supervising. They should also be able to help a business find and cultivate a good list of leads for the calls.

Sometimes you can outsource other activities that require telemarketing but are not what most people think of when you mention the word telemarketing. For instance, if you have a list of people that you want to send Christmas cards or an invitation to a special event, or any other mass mailing, you don’t want to waste all that money on printing, handling, postage and mailing on recipients who have left the company, work for companies who have moved to a different address, or worse, companies who have gone out of business. It makes sense to to put a little effort and time into cleaning up your database list and verifying the names and contact information at least once a year before implementing a large mailing.

All of this is learned and used by marketing professionals and they can add a lot of value to a business, with a totally different but necessary approach to the sales process from what a hard core sales person can do for you. Telemarketing is still a viable business tool and has it’s place in any well planned and executed marketing program.

Driving the Old Neighborhood

With traffic on the interstate at a standstill, I had to take surface roads last night to get home. Following all the other locals who knew how to get around town, I ended up driving through the old neighborhood. When I first moved here I had rented a lovely apartment in a great location, at the Autumnwood Apartments.

I loved the pool and workout room – it was right across the parking lot from my front door. My apartment had a washer and dryer in a hall closet, two bedrooms, a decent sized kitchen, a private patio and a working fireplace. A nice apartment like that back in San Francisco would have cost at least $2,200 per month – if you can even find one available and located within an hour’s drive of where you have to work. And let me tell you, the long commutes are extremely expensive and stressful, which is a huge factor in the quality of life issues there.

But my little bit of Nashville heaven rented for just $500 per month. Can you imagine the delight in saving that much money every month just on housing?

As I drove by Autumnwood last night on my way to my new condo, I couldn’t help but look over at the apartments and I was very surprised to see that the complex has new owners and a new banner hung over the sign at the entrance with a new name. I wonder if the buyers brought anything good to the community or if they are going to just suck out all the money they can get from it and let the services and amenities slide? That would be a real shame.

The Search for Apartments

When I moved here from San Francisco, I didn’t have much time to look for someplace to live. I started my new job here with only two weeks to give notice back in the Bay area, pack and move, and get started with the new company.

I found tenants for my condo back in Fremont really quickly. It didn’t make sense to try to sell it under the circumstances, and I’ve not regretted that decision. My tenants are good people, they pay the rent on time every month, they love my condo and they seem to be taking care of it. So no complaints there.

When I got to Nashville, I had to scramble to find someplace to live. At first I stayed in a hotel suite near the office, so I could get to know the area, but that gets expensive real quick and it ate up my relocation allowance really fast. So I used the internet to help search for Nashville Apartments.

The Apartment Finder website is really easy to use, and has photos and virtual tours of all the different properties, maps, and all the details you need to set up a showing or put in an application. I really liked the little icons that indicated whether an apartment complex was pet friendly or not, and whether the apratment had a washer and dryer in the unit. I personally don’t like to use the shared or community laundry rooms – I’m willing to pay a little extra for the convenience and safety of having a washer and dryer inside my apartment.

My son has had it easy with his moves so far and has never used an Apartment Locator like this, but it worked for me, and with his upcoming move I’m going to send him the link and try to help get him settled into a nice new home by the first of April!