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Author Archives: Phil Hardwick

PHIL HARDWICK: Which should a business value most: employees, stockholders, customers or products/services?

If  you, a business owner, had to choose, which of the following would you place more emphasis on: Employees, stockholders/investors, customers or products/services? It’s tempting to say that all are equally important. But what if I told you that those companies that value employees more are more successful? At least, that is what the evidence suggests. From 1997 – 2013 ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Turning things around: Two companies and one federal agency

The cover of the current issue of the Harvard Business Review proclaims, “Making Strategy Work – How to Avoid the Traps and Execute Brilliantly.” Strategy is about how to achieve goals. It is especially important for companies that were once flying high, but have found themselves at a lower altitude. Turning around a struggling company is a daunting task. So ...

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PHIL HARDWICK: When Bill Cooley talks, people listen

Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there was a string of commercials for a stock brokerage firm that featured someone, usually a professional-type in a public setting, having a conversation with another person. One person would ask, “What does your broker say?” The other person would reply, “My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says…” At that ...

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PHIL HARDWICK: License plates — the good, bad and ugly

License plates, or car tags as they are called in some states, are getting more attention. Some of the attention and related issues are good, some are bad and some are just plain ugly. First, the good. License plates allow for identification of vehicles. One can only imagine what it would be like if there were no license plates. They ...

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PHIL HARDWICK: When will Mississippi change its culture?

  “Where are you going?” yelled the fisherman still in the boat. “We have to save these children?” “I’m going upstream, and find out who’s throwing these babies in the water,” he replied. Perhaps it is time to talk about something that we in Mississippi do not want to discuss publicly, but which we lament privately. And that is our ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — The crazy world of book buying and selling

Amazon has disrupted the book world again. Last year there was a dispute with a major publisher over who set the price of e-books – the publisher or the distributor. This time the quarrel is with self-published authors and others who view Amazon’s recently released Kindle Unlimited as a threat to the incomes of authors. Kindle Unlimited is an Amazon ...

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PHIL HARDWICK: Characteristics of a good year-end fundraising letter

Another December day; another solicitation letter. The end of the calendar year is approaching, and that means that fundraising letters compete with catalogues and holiday cards for space in the mailbox. Some fundraising letters are compelling. They make one want to immediately write a check, volunteer for community service or pledge some exceptional amount. And then there are those that ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Using life cycle charts to analyze your business and plan your future

Life cycle charts can help your business or organization identify its strengths and weaknesses and plan the future. Life cycles are commonly associated with products. In Marketing 101 students are introduced to product life cycles. They learn about the stages of the product life cycle: Growth, stability, decline and renewal. For example, the disposable camera is a product that came ...

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