Spotlight on High School Music Service. Successor’s Perspective.

Spotlight on High School Music Service. Successor’s Perspective. By Jaimie Blackman Published in January MMR magazine “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” PLATO In 1978 Donald Watkins purchased High School Music Service from Lloyd Reitz, who founded the company in 1946. When Watkins retired in 1997, Greg, Donald’s son, already had a decade of work experience as a road rep and was well positioned to lead the organization as second-generation owner. Greg’s highly personalized customer service model had enabled him to successfully build HSMS into the premier school music retailer it is today. To read the rest, Click Here to check out my January MMR column

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Hate Meetings? Try Facilitating.

Hate Meetings? Try Facilitating. By Jaimie Blackman.  MMR November 2019 Hypothetical. Repair believes that Sales is making promises to customers that are impossible to keep, like the time it takes to repair an instrument. Sales believes that repair is deliberately slowing down work, preventing them from being competitive. Your team is at war and the loser is the organization who is experiencing a drop in both sales and repairs. The biggest stakeholders of the organization are in the middle. The knee jerk reaction is to schedule a meeting and have the owner or general manager read the riot act. Instead of telling repair and sales what to do, try helping them agree on a way to improve the process. Be the facilitator. To read the rest, Click Here to check out my November MMR column    

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Protect Your Business by Insuring Your Intangibles

71% of organizations claimed they were very dependent on one or two key employees, yet only 22% had key-person life insurance.* Key Person Insurance. Businesses regularly insure their tangible, physical assets like buildings, inventory, and equipment, but often overlook their most important asset - their people. Each business, regardless of its size, has an individual or group of individuals who contribute to its success. The unexpected death, disability or illness sustained by one of these "key" people can threaten the success of the company. A key person insurance strategy helps the business insure against financial impact if a key employee is no longer able to contribute. Here's how it Works. The business owns, pays for, and is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy on the life of the key manager. The business can use the income tax-free death benefit to replace lost profits, recruit and/ or retain qualified replacements, or…

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What’s Your Business Worth?

What’s your business worth? October 2019, MMR. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? We think we are better looking than we are. We think we drive better than we do. And we think our business is worth more than it is. Psychologists describe this inflated view as “illusory superiority.” In my January 2018 MMR column, I did my own reality check on the subject of valuation during an interview with Steve Zapf, the past President of Music & Arts. (Jeff Gottlieb succeeded Steve Zapf as President this past April). With more than 500 retail and affiliate locations, the organization is the go-to-company to ask about valuation. To read the rest, Click Here to check out my October MMR column

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The Art of Music Retail

The Art of Music Retail September 2019, MMR. “Good business is the best art” Andy Warhol Andy Warhol, a leading figure in pop art, was fascinated with, and excelled at, business.  He believed that business was the highest form of art. All art, embodies the intangible nature of life. Readers of this column understand very well what the intangible qualities of music are: rhythm, melody, harmony, tone color, dynamics & structure. It is these intangible qualities which captures the quality of human feelings, the key drivers of the music experience. To read the rest, Click Here to check out my September MMR column

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Confessions of a Succession Planner

After almost two decades as a financial advisor, there is one lesson I have learned, which I can reveal with completely certainty. People are planning averse. When it comes to individual planning such as financial or estate planning, people have a hard time focusing on goals that are beyond six months. The process can be complex and the decisions required can be numerous. The obstacles are even greater for a business owner. Just mention the term succession planning, and you can see the pain on the owner’s face. To read the rest, Click Here to check out my August MMR column

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