Blog Posts by Michael Goodwin

  • Think Like a Champion: Athlete-staffed company on a fast break

    TEAM Services Corp, a new startup devoted to providing comprehensive security services for sports and entertainment events, is only one month old—but don't get the idea that the management team are beginners. Andre Farr, CEO and Founder of TEAM, is a phenomenally successful entrepreneur who made his first million by the age of 21, and has never worked for anyone else since.

    Farr was CEO of House of Blues Sports Division. He put on concert tours. He staged parties. He produced awards shows and specials featuring Beyonce, Shaquille O’Neal, Floyd Mayweather and more. And he got into sponsorship early. "In business you don't just set yourself up for one thing," he explains. "As an innovator, you look at creating a platform and a vehicle, and then you explore all the viable opportunities that come up along the way."

    Mel Farr Superstar

    One of Andre's earliest entrepreneurial inspirations was his uncle Mel, AKA Mel Farr Superstar. "My freshman year at UCLA," Andre recalls, "his dealership,

    Read More »from Think Like a Champion: Athlete-staffed company on a fast break
  • ArtSpot Productions: Turning your vision into a viable business

    Every successful business starts with a vision. Every unsuccessful business does too.

    How can you tell whether your dream is destined to succeed? And once your new business is operating, how can you keep that dream on track?

    We asked three successful entrepreneurs how they came up with the idea for their businesses. What led them to make the decision to go ahead and commit time, money and energy to turning that dream into reality? How they knew their vision could become a viable business?

    The first two installments focused on Ken and Melba Ferdinand's beloved New Orleans coffee shop Café Rose Nicaud, and Steve Fox's Urban Putt minigolf bar-restaurant start-up in San Francisco. This installment, which spotlights ArtSpot Productions as it celebrates 20 years of theatrical activism in Louisiana, begins now.

    It Should Be Orgasmic

    In New Orleans, the multi-talented performance artist/theatrical director/producer/educator Kathy Randels is gearing up for a major celebration: the 20th

    Read More »from ArtSpot Productions: Turning your vision into a viable business
  • Urban Putt: Turning a vision into a viable business

    Every successful business starts with a vision. Every unsuccessful business does too.

    How can you tell whether your dream is destined to succeed? And once your new business is operating, how can you keep that dream on track?

    We asked three successful entrepreneurs how they came up with the ideas for their businesses. What led them to make the decision to go ahead and commit time, money and energy to turning that dream into reality? How they knew their vision could become a viable business?

    Eight-Foot-High Flaming Tiki God

    In San Francisco, Steve Fox seems to have invented a new art form: a visionary fusion between high-art aesthetics and...indoor minigolf! Now he's trying to turn it into a successful bar, restaurant and recreational space in the hip Mission District.

    "For years," says Fox, CEO and Chief Greenskeeper of Urban Putt, "I gave an annual bring-your-own-hole miniature golf party at my home in San Francisco. It was a charity benefit; we usually raised a few thousand dollars.

    Read More »from Urban Putt: Turning a vision into a viable business
  • Gymnasts Flip Over Facility In North Alabama: Huntsville Gymnastics a classic small business

    How does a gymnast get to the Olympics? The answer is exactly the same as the punchline to the old joke about how you get to Carnegie Hall: Practice.

    And if you live in northern Alabama, or anywhere close, your best path to practicing prize-winning gymnastics leads directly to James Linderholm, founder and Program Director of the Huntsville Gymnastics Center.

    Huntsville Gymnastics, with locations in Huntsville, Alabama, and the neighboring town of Madison, claims to be the leading gymnastics training center in North Alabama. "We are certainly the best-equipped gymnastics facility in the area," states Linderholm proudly, "and we maintain the lowest coach/student ratio. Our competitive program turns out top-notch gymnasts at all levels." Indeed, Huntsville Gymnastics brought home 33 Gold Medals at State competition level in 2013—but it's the recreational program, the boys and girls who come for just an hour or two a week, for which the gym is best-known.

    I'd Have to Make It Work

    Read More »from Gymnasts Flip Over Facility In North Alabama: Huntsville Gymnastics a classic small business
  • Keeping the Dream Alive: Turning your vision into a viable business

    Every successful business starts with a vision. Every unsuccessful business does too.

    How can you tell whether your dream is destined to succeed? And once your new business is operating, how can you keep that dream on track?

    We asked three successful entrepreneurs how they came up with the idea for their businesses. What led them to make the decision to go ahead and commit time, money and energy to turning that dream into reality? How they knew their vision could become a viable business?

    Food, Wine and Jazz

    Frenchmen Street in New Orleans is one of the Crescent City's prime destinations for music tourists. Clubs, restaurants, bars and music halls line the sidewalk from Decatur to Royal. Brass bands play in vacant lots for free. Mobs of people roam the streets, drinks in hand. But for ten years there's only been one coffee shop-café on Frenchmen Street: Café Rose Nicaud.

    Some people just call it Melba's.

    Melba Ferdinand and her husband Kenneth bought a small building on Frenchmen

    Read More »from Keeping the Dream Alive: Turning your vision into a viable business
  • Holiday For Strings: Online store puts customer service and entrepreneurial spirit together to play a sweet tune.

    Need a set of J86 Phospor Bronze D’Addario strings for your bajo sexto? (That's a huge Mexican 12-string guitar so hefty that traditionally the guy who makes it jumps up and down on it a few times to make sure it's strong enough before putting it up for sale. Great in a bar fight!)

    Need those strings in time for your gig next weekend?

    How about a clip-on tuner? (With a 12-string something is always going out of tune.) Perhaps a couple of Jim Dunlop Tortex guitar picks. (Your choice of color and shape: standard, teardrop, triangle, triple-sided or sharkfin.) Or maybe just a set of C.F. Martin acoustic guitar strings for your 000-18—available in Phosphor Bronze, 80/20 Bronze or Performance SP Phosphor Bronze. Buy the Martin strings in bulk if you want to save some money—or resell 'em to the customers at your instrument shop.

    Oh, and you can buy all this swag at the same site. Factor in free shipping and you're looking at the dead-lowest prices anywhere.

    Too good to be true? Not. Welcome to

    Read More »from Holiday For Strings: Online store puts customer service and entrepreneurial spirit together to play a sweet tune.
  • Ranger Up Markets Military Gear—and an Unapologetic Lifestyle

    One of the most widely accepted "rules" of business is to avoid controversy.

    Someone must have forgotten to tell Nick Palmisciano, Tom Amenta, and Tim Kennedy—three of the founders of Ranger Up, a hugely successful web site devoted to military gear and fearless advocacy. Sure, you can buy a patriotic t-shirt, or a mixed martial arts outfit, or a liquid metal rendering of your regimental insignia, but you can also get a shirt that reads: "Free men do not ask permission to bear arms." Or one saying: "Lord if today is truly the day that you call me home, let me die in a pile of empty brass."


    Aggravating a Lot Of People

    Isn't Ranger Up worried about alienating their customer base with messages like that? Not so you'd notice. "We have put some messages out on our site that really aggravated a lot of people," says Ranger Up's President Nick Palmisciano, an ex-Infantry officer who served in Kosovo. "But to our core community it's just truth. And if you're not a like-minded person you're never

    Read More »from Ranger Up Markets Military Gear—and an Unapologetic Lifestyle
  • Conquering an Ecommerce Niche: A love affair with the Finnish Aesthetic

    Quick, when I say Finland what do you think of?

    No, not Angry Birds.

    If your next response happens to be Finnstyle.com,that means Ben Horn is doing his job right.

    Finnstyle is just one of six extremely successful niche ecommerce sites Horn operates on the Yahoo Store platform under the umbrella of Our WorldShops—sites that range from Finnish design treasures to glass birds, umbrellas, and even shower curtains. It may sound exotic, but Horn's niche is highly profitable. In 2012, Our World Shops enjoyed gross sales in the $3 to $5 million range.

    Flair and Functionality

    The story of Our World Shops is a romance that took decades to come to fruition. In the mid-1970s, while studying in Finland as a foreign high school exchange student, Our World Shops' soon-to-be owner, founder, and CEO Ben Horn became enamored with Finnish design, which he found full of flair and functionality. After he completed his studies, Ben returned to the United States—but that love affair with the Finnish

    Read More »from Conquering an Ecommerce Niche: A love affair with the Finnish Aesthetic
  • Gameday Merchandising takes In-Stadium Sales to a new level—Online

    Sports can break your heart.Think of the Mighty Casey striking out. Think of the Brooklyn Dodgers moving to L.A. Think of sports fans living so far from their home-team's stadium that the local TV station doesn't carry the games.

    Worse yet, how are those fans gonna get the gear?

    Gameday Merchandising's Ecommerce division has an app for that.

    Ecommerce Is Critical

    Gameday Merchandising was created to provide a turnkey retail solution for sports teams and large-scale stadium events. Say you're the Golden State Warriors. You know that fans who come to the game will want to go home with gear, only you already have enough on your plate winning games to worry about running a bunch of retail stores.

    Now imagine you're a Golden State Warriors fan. You go to the stadium and find at least one Warriors store with Gameday's staff running it, Gameday's staff purchasing the products to be sold, Gameday's staff doing everything on behalf of the Warriors. Only it looks like the Warriors are doing it.

    Read More »from Gameday Merchandising takes In-Stadium Sales to a new level—Online
  • The Bacon Freak Is Here: $1 Million per year from Bacon, a Sense of Humor and an Online Store

    Ask CEO Rocco Loosbrock how Bacon Freak got started, and he's got a jokey answer, one he's probably used a hundred times before:

    "One too many glasses of wine."

    In this case, though, it's no joke. Prior to starting Bacon Freak—a light-hearted site that sells all things bacon—Loosbrock had been making a living selling wine by hosting wine dinners, wine parties, and wine events. He'd set up a fancy dinner at a wine bar or restaurant, and afterward (hopefully) people would buy cases of wine.

    It was fun, but Loosbrock had a problem. "I got kinda agitated with some of the chefs," he explains. "They'd tell me that the wine needed to be a 1962 Haut Brion or something very expensive to pair with their dish, but 90 percent of the room was just into having casual social fun with a nice Syrah or a Zin or something. Then one day I was eating some pepper bacon, and the previous day I'd tasted a Syrah that was extremely peppery, and I thought, 'Hey, I could pair the wine with, oh, some pepper bacon

    Read More »from The Bacon Freak Is Here: $1 Million per year from Bacon, a Sense of Humor and an Online Store

Pagination

(17 Stories)
Loading...

Friend's Activity