Thursday, July 22, 2010

Andrew Carnegie-An Amazing Person And Guide

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
• Carnegie's Steel Built America
Industrialist and philanthropist. Born on November 25, 1835, in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. Although he had little formal education, he grew up in a family that believed in the importance of books and learning. The son of a handloom weaver, Carnegie grew up to become one of the wealthiest businessmen in America.
At the age of thirteen, Carnegie came to the United States in 1848 with his family. They settled in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and Carnegie went to work in a factory, earning $1.20 a week. The next year he found a job as a telegraph messenger. Wanting to advance himself he moved up to a telegraph operator position in 1851. Then he took a job at the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1853. He worked as the assistant and telegrapher to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad's top officials. Through this experience, he learned a lot about the railroad industry and about business in general. Three years later, Carnegie was promoted to superintendent.
While working for the railroad, Carnegie begins making investments. He made many wise choices and found that his investments, especially those in oil, brought in substantial returns. He left the railroad in 1865 to focus on his other business interests, including the Keystone Bridge Company.
By the next decade, most of Carnegie's time was dedicated to the steel industry. His business, which became known as the Carnegie Steel Company, revolutionized steel production in the United States. Carnegie built plants around the country, using technology and methods that made manufacturing steel easier, faster, and more productive. For every step of the process, he owned exactly what he needed: the raw materials, ships and railroads for transporting the goods, and even coal fields to fuel the steel furnaces. This start-to-finish strategy helped Carnegie become the dominant force in the industry and an exceedingly wealthy man. By 1889, Carnegie Steel Corporation was the largest of its kind in the world.
Some felt that the company's success came at the expense of its workers. employee communications was the best thing to happen.The most notable case of this came in 1892. When the company tried to lower wages at a Carnegie Steel plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, the employees objected. They refused to work, starting what has been called the Homestead Strike of 1892. The conflict between the workers and local managers turned violent after the managers called in guards to break up the union. While Carnegie was away at the time of strike, he was still held accountable for his managers' actions by many.Some how he was interested in business communication courses.
In 1901, Carnegie made a dramatic change in his life. He sold his business to the United States Steel Corporation, started by legendary financier J. P. Morgan. The sale earned him more than $200 million. At the age of 65, Carnegie decided to spend the rest of his days helping others. While he had begun his philanthropic work years earlier by building libraries and making donations, Carnegie expanded his efforts in 1900s.
Carnegie, an avid reader for much of his life, donated approximately $5 million to the New York Public Library so that the library could open several branches in 1901. Devoted to learning, he established the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, which is now known as Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904. The next year he created the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905. With his strong interest to peace, he formed the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1910. He made numerous other donations as well and it is said that more than 2,800 libraries were opened with his support.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mc Donald-The Mesmerizing Story

Ray Kroc was born in 1902. It was a time in America where men and women were increasingly trying their hand at entrepreneurship. The country had moved out of the dark ages and these people wanted to lead from the front. It was the age of William Durant and Henry Ford. It was the age of the great nation builders.

Young Ray Kroc believed that opportunity only knocked once and took his chances as they came. When he was fifteen years old he lied about his age and landed himself the job of an ambulance driver for Red Cross. After that he tried his hand at a myriad things, finally settling down to be a salesman. He initially sold paper cups. Opportunity knocked on his door when he had a chance meeting with Earl Prince, the inventor of the five-spindle multimixer. Ray Kroc convinced Earl to give him exclusive marketing rights for the mixture and successfully sold it all over the country for the next decade and a half.

As he traveled all over the country, he realized that one of his largest customers was a California based restaurant owned by the McDonald brothers. On further enquiry he found out that they used a mass production cum assembly line system for their hamburgers and sandwiches. The owners were not interested in expanding the operation further and seemed content with present operations. In another display of salesmanship Ray Kroc convinced the brothers to make him their exclusive agent. In 1954 Ray Kroc opened his own McDonald's drive-in in Des Plaines, Illinois. He officially established the McDonald's Corporation.

It was not an easy time for Ray Kroc. He was suffering from diabetes and arthritis. His gall bladder and thyroid gland had already been surgically removed. But the desire to succeed burnt throughout his body. In a final act of refined salesmanship Ray Kroc managed to convince the brothers to sell the company to him. He asked them to name their price. The $2.7 million that Ray Kroc paid in 1961 for the McDonalds Corporation is considered to be one of the greatest acts of salesmanship of all time.

While running McDonalds he realized that a big chunk of the profits would come from the land on which the franchisees are established. In 1956 Ray Kroc set up the Franchise Realty Corporation, which bought land and leased it out to franchisees. Post 1961, Ray Kroc began recruiting franchisees at a feverish pace. The revenues that the company received from the franchisees made it easier for Kroc to raise capital in the financial markets. He utilized some of the money to create an enduring advertising campaign that centered on the company’s mascot – Ronald McDonald.

Once the domestic market was saturated with McDonald’s franchisees, Ray Kroc turned his attention overseas. It has opened outlets in more than sixty-five countries. McDonald’s tailor-made its offerings depending on the country in which it was operating. In order to make the chain's name more easily pronounceable for Japanese consumers, it was changed to Makudonaldo. In India and in the Middle East, pork is not served. In Ireland the promotions proclaimed, "Our name may be American, but we're all Irish."

Today most companies who operate in the service industry have pricked up something or the other from the McDonalds way of functioning. They have learnt that ray Kroc was right when said that, "The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization." Non-conformists did not find any place in his plans. Ray Kroc constantly harped on the need for minute labor specialization and definition of the company’s value proposition.

After handing over the operations to Fred Turner in 1968, Kroc began to take a macro view of the organization that he built from scratch. He continued to monitor business of the newer franchisees. His paranoia regarding the success of McDonalds was intact as ever. Whenever he traveled he insisted that his chauffer drive him to at least six franchisees for him to conduct surprise checks. In 1977, Ray Kroc became the Senior Chairman. McDonald's had sold 65 billion hamburgers by 1987, the year before it opened its ten thousandth store. McDonald's now opens about one-third of its new restaurants in foreign markets.

In 1974, Ray Kroc became a hero for reasons completely unrelated to business. He purchased the San Diego Padres baseball team and prevented them from moving to Washington, D.C. Ray Kroc passed away from old age in January 1984, at the age of eighty-one, just the ten months before McDonalds sold hamburger number fifty billion.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sam Walton-The Creator Of Wal Mart

We have set our own rules in the business. Have a look on the business rules of legendry even!
Rule 4: Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they'll understand. The more they understand, the more they'll care. Once they care, there's no stopping them. If you don't trust your associates to know what's going on, they'll know you really don't consider them partners. Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitors.

Rule 5: Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. A paycheck and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for them. We like to hear it often, and especially when we have done something we're really proud of. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free — and worth a fortune.

Rule 6: Celebrate your success. Find some humor in your failures. Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasm — always. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song. Then make everybody else sing with you. Don't do a hula on Wall Street. It's been done. Think up your own stunt. All of this is more important, and more fun, than you think, and it really fools competition. "Why should we take those cornballs at Wal-Mart seriously?"

Rule 7: Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front lines — the ones who actually talk to the customer — are the only ones who really know what's going on out there. You'd better find out what they know. This really is what total quality is all about. To push responsibility down in your organization, and to force good ideas to bubble up within it, you must listen to what your associates are trying to tell you.

Rule 8: Exceed your customer's expectations. If you do, they'll come back over and over. Give them what they want — and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all your mistakes, and don't make excuses — apologize. Stand behind everything you do. The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign: "Satisfaction Guaranteed." They're still up there, and they have made all the difference.

Rule 9: Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. For twenty-five years running — long before Wal-Mart was known as the nation's largest retailer — we've ranked No. 1 in our industry for the lowest ratio of expenses to sales. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you're too inefficient.

Rule 10: Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you're headed the wrong way. I guess in all my years, what I heard more often than anything was: a town of less than 50,000 population cannot support a discount store for very long.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Walmart-For Well Wishers

We are all very well aware of the Wal mart.In this blog lets see the man behind Wal mart.
Sam Walton was the man behind this Walmart. After attending the University of Missouri, he immediately worked for J.C. Penny where he got his first taste of retailing. He served in World War II, after which he became a successful franchiser of Ben Franklin five-and-dime stores. In 1962, he had the idea of opening bigger stores, sticking to rural areas, keeping costs low and discounting heavily. The management disagreed with his vision. Undaunted, Walton pursued his vision, founded Wal-Mart and started a retailing success story. When Walton died in 1992, the family's net worth approached $25 billion.

Today, Wal-Mart is the world's #1 retailer, with more than 4,150 stores, including discount stores, combination discount and grocery stores, and membership-only warehouse stores (Sam's Club). Learn Walton's winning formula for business.

Rule 1: Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don't know if you're born with this kind of passion, or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it. If you love your work, you'll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you — like a fever.

Rule 2: Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations. Remain a corporation and retain control if you like, but behave as a servant leader in your partnership. Encourage your associates to hold a stake in the company. Offer discounted stock, and grant them stock for their retirement. It's the single best thing we ever did.

Rule 3: Motivate your partners. Money and ownership alone aren't enough. Constantly, day by day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and challenge your partners. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Make bets with outrageous payoffs. If things get stale, cross-pollinate; have managers switch jobs with one another to stay challenged. Keep everybody guessing as to what your next trick is going to be. Don't become too predictable.
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