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What My Grandpa Taught Me About How To Succeed In My Online Business

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    Message 1 of 1 , May 23, 2007
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      Article Title:

      What My Grandpa Taught Me About How To Succeed In My Online Business

      Article Description:

      Yep, I learned a lot about operating a successful online business
      from my grandpa's generation. I think back to how things were
      done when I was a boy, and I still see brilliance in their
      advertising methods and techniques.

      Additional Article Information:

      1284 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
      Distribution Date and Time: 2007-05-23 16:58:00

      Written By: Garett Plummer
      Copyright: 2007
      Contact Email: mailto:garett.plummer@...

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      What My Grandpa Taught Me About How To Succeed In My Online Business
      Copyright (c) 2007 Garett Plummer

      Yep, I learned a lot about operating a successful online business
      from my grandpa's generation. I think back to how things were
      done when I was a boy, and I still see brilliance in their
      advertising methods and techniques.

      Some people stake their business' future only on Internet
      advertising and communications. While both are effective, gramps
      taught me that it was very important to keep the name of your
      business in front of your customers at all times, in the most
      economical ways possible.

      My Grandpa's Service Station

      Gramps owned his own service station, and he had loads of loyal
      customers who only bought gas from his station and only had their
      auto repairs done in his garage.

      Gramps knew the names of most of his customers, and he called
      each by name when he greeted them.

      Gramps sometimes ran advertising on his local radio station to
      attract new customers to his business. But hands down, his most
      effective advertising tool was something we now call viral
      marketing. He gave his customers such exceptional service in such
      a friendly environment that his customers spread the word about
      his business for him, at no additional cost to him.

      Gramps hired folks to help him pump the gas, and all of his
      employees knew the importance of greeting his customers by name
      and helping them keep their cars running smoothly. My grandpa
      even hired mechanics that were exceptionally qualified to repair
      his customer's vehicles.

      Gramps' customers knew that if his crew suggested a mechanical
      repair for their vehicle, they knew that the repair really needed
      to be made. And they also knew that gramps' people would be able
      to do the repair correctly and on-budget. Gramps' customers
      trusted him and his advice with every fiber of their being,
      because gramps always looked out for the best interests of his

      Capturing Those Special Moments

      My grandpa would keep a camera around his service station to
      capture those special moments with his customers and crew. And
      then he would keep those special memories around for everyone to

      The thing that I remember most about my grandpa's gas station is
      those calendars grandpa did every year. During the entire months
      of December, January and while supplies lasted into February,
      gramps would give out a copy of his own calendar to each of his
      customers. I even had one in my own room at home every year as I
      was growing up.

      Each year, the best moments of the previous year were passed
      around to all of grandpa's customers. It was always such a
      thrill to go to a store or to a friends' house and see my
      grandpa's calendar hanging on the wall.

      The brilliance in grandpa's calendars was that every time
      someone wanted to check the date, they would be reminded of
      grandpa's gas station and they would see the faces of people
      they recognized from his gas station.

      Grandpa successfully implemented many methods designed to keep
      the name of his business in people's minds, as economically as
      possible. His calendars were just one example of his brilliant
      advertising at work.

      Commemorating Those Special Days

      Grandpa had what I refer to as a photographic memory. In my
      world, it is a photographic memory, but in his world, I think he
      just truly loved people.

      I was always amazed when I went to spend my summer days at his
      service station. Grandpa knew the name of all of his customers,
      and he also knew the names of his customers' family members.

      To my amazement, grandpa also always seemed to know what was
      going on in the lives of his customers' families. I would spend
      my summers working at his gas station, and while I was pumping
      gas, he would carry lengthy conversations with his customers. I
      simply did not understand how he could keep up with the lives of
      so many people. He would ask about Billy, Bob and Mary, and he
      would be able to ask about the activities that were special to

      Going The Extra Mile Was A Family Affair

      I did not fully realize until I was older, but gramps kept
      fantastic records and then reviewed his notes regularly. When he
      would learn the name of a new child, he would jot that name down
      in his notebook that documented the information that he knew
      about his customers. Then, grandpa would spend a few hours every
      Sunday afternoon reviewing his notes, and after a few months of
      review, he would know his subject matter better than anyone.
      Grandma's commitment was to the family and to keep an eye to
      marriage announcements and death announcements in the newspaper,
      to help grandpa stay up-to-date on the lives of his customers.

      The truth is that grandpa did not have a better memory than I
      did. Instead, grandpa had a stronger commitment to his friends
      and customer's.

      Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, we would all sit around with
      grandma and grandpa and help gramps update his address book on
      all of his customers. We would double-check his notes and the
      phone book to get the current address for all of his customers in
      his notebooks.

      Thursday morning was dedicated to updating addresses, and then we
      would eat and celebrate the holiday. On Friday morning, we would
      wrap up the address updates. On Friday afternoon, we would play a
      game of tag football. Then the family would spend the day on
      Saturday writing Christmas cards for all of his customers.
      Grandpa would sign every one of them himself. On Thanksgiving
      Sunday, we would go to church. After lunch, we would sit down
      around the living room and put stamps on the Christmas cards we
      made the day before.

      "From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas." Those words
      have such a special meaning to me.

      At the beginning of every December, grandpa would take his booty
      to the Post Office to save his mailman the pain of carrying such
      a huge load.

      The Passing Of A Bright Torch

      When I was fourteen, my grandpa passed away. As you might
      imagine, his funeral was a major event in our hometown. It was
      astonishing to see so many people come to pay their respects to
      my grandmother and our family.

      Unfortunately, my parents and my aunts and uncles all had their
      own lives separate from the service station. So, it was decided
      when my grandpa passed away that his livelihood would be sold to
      the highest bidder. My grandmother was set for the remaining
      years of her life.

      An individual hoping to reap the profits of my grandfather's
      legacy purchased the business. Although that person had the cash
      to buy the business, that person did not have my grandfather's
      business savvy. The service station did not survive its new
      owner. Now and again, I drive by that location where I spent many
      summers. The building still stands where it has always stood, but
      the service bays remain empty and the closed sign is starting to
      fade away. It has now been years since a business operated in
      that location.

      Lessons From An Older Generation

      In my own online business, I try to practice the lessons learned
      from my grandfather. Gramps left his mark on my life, although he
      has been gone for decades. I remember, and I try to put into
      practice the things that my grandpa had taught me about running a
      successful business.

      Even in this new age of the Internet, I have learned that
      calendars and Christmas cards have as much power today as they
      did three decades ago. My customers appreciate my business,
      because we take the time to go that extra mile, just for them.

      Garett Plummer writes about topics close to his heart. Garett
      would be happy for you to visit his friend's website and sign
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