Monthly Archives: September 2009

Entrepreneur Spirit: Roger Richards

Roger Richard of Wine Labs in Newport being interviewed (image: YouTube – click to go to video or watch below)

From time to time I will be interviewing Entrepreneurs making it happen in our community. In economic times like these there us much opportunity to be had but who are these brave people actually daring to take the risk and fulfill their entrepreneurial spirit.

This is Roger Richard’s story.

On a Wednesday afternoon I went down to my local wine bar, Wine Lab Newport, to interview Richard for a few hours as he did his weekly tasting of roughly 30 wines and five beers from various distributors. Yes, I participated but only in the name of the Entrepreneurial Spirit…and maybe a slight obsession for wine.

Roger Richards.The Entrepreneur.The Small Business Owner.The Wine Geek.
Roger is a middle-aged self-proclaimed wine geek who seems to be doing everything right in these tough economic times. Who better to learn from than someone who says that, “everyday is a lesson,” and that, “selling something that people don’t need in this tough economy is the best training he could have.” He is optimistic even as a wine representative told us that in 22 years of selling wine he has never seen it this bad for the wine industry down 25% in overall sales.

What inspired me to tell Roger’s story is a combination of things that he has in common with both myself and other young entrepreneurs. He is a small business owner using social media to engage customers and still works his day job to support his dream.

Wine Lab Newport
A small intimate wine bar with a laid back lounge type feel located on PCH in Newport Beach that has wine flights daily for $15-30. The daily specials are posted on their blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. They involve many local charities and school booster clubs to help raise money for a good cause. You can pair your wine flight with artisan cheeses starting at $10. Just a cool place to come hang out and expand your palette. Not to mention they feature over 200 bottles under $20, perfect for a college budget.

by Daniela Bolzmann of

CSUF Entrepreneurship Student and Social Marketing  Consultant

Communicating with New Consulting Clients

Curtis Chan

Communications is about emotion.  Successful people communicate well and have the ability to influence opinion or dissuade belief.  After you’ve met someone and time passes, that person will not remember the specifics of your conversation nor will they remember what you looked like at the time….but they will remember HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.  Always leave a positive impression.

When meeting a client for the first time, the primary goals are: a) build trust; b) set the level of expectation between you and the client; c) develop, negotiate guidelines, milestones and deliverables and d) take ownership.

Questions to think about for the first client meeting:

1. Who is the company and what do they provide?
2. Who are the principals and what can you glean from their website, search engine or collateral about their profile?
3. What is their mission and focus? Does their messaging reflect their mission or direction/products/services focus?
4. Can you decipher their singular message and does it have brand appeal?
5. Who are their target audiences? (market segment, company size, responsibility title, revenue, application, etc.)
6. How do they sell to their audience base – what is their distribution channel model?
7. What and how do they support their sales and marketing model?
8. How is marketing done and what do they think is needed to improve it?
9. What are the strategic issues that have impacted their business?
10. What business opportunities do they see in the horizon?
11. How do they describe their business and infrastructure model?
12. Who are their competition and what are their strength and weaknesses? What has the competition done right/wrong?
13. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
14. What competitive threats do they (or you) foresee in the current timeframe and future?
15. What do they wish to accomplish with an X period of time with respect to: 1) revenue; 2) profit; 3) infrastructure; 4) personnel; 5) business and market position; 6) continuation strategy, etc.
16. How would you test their branding strength? What can be done to improve it?
17. What marketing actions have they done and what were their successes and failures?
18. Think about their product or service roadmap, pricing strategy, audience and channel strategy, sales and marcom and support strategy?

These questions can assist you both understanding your client and in creating a powerful brand for yourself.

Coach Curtis Chan
President & CEO


Small California Firms Say Healthcare Costs Killing Entrepreneurship

OC Register Blogger Jan Norman says that Two-thirds of California small business owners say more people would become entrepreneurs if they knew they could get health insurance despite pre-existing health conditions, reports Small Business Majority, a national advocacy group focused on healthcare reform.

John Bradley Jackson

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