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Good Business Practices of the day

September 21, 2007

When I say good, I don’t mean in a moral sense, but more in a “hey, they’re pretty smart for doing that” sense.   So without further ado, here is the first of a possibly continuing series of good business ideas I have witnessed during the day:

(1) The hot dog stand outside the metro station by my apartment building selling cigarettes.  Now you may ask yourself, what is so special about this.  Well, the hot dog lady was not selling packs of cigarettes, but rather individual cigarettes to homeless/near homeless people in the area, for $0.50 each.   They were no signs that said “Cigs, 50 cents” but I saw her sell one to a guy in front of me in line.  Seeing as the average price of a pack of cigarettes in the District of Columbia is $4.58 (per the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids) she is making a tidy $5.42 per pack profit.  The tobacco companies should take note.

(2) Near my work there is a Caribou Coffee and a Starbucks basically next door to each other in a large office park.  Starbucks being Starbucks, one would think they would have the larger market share, more innovative offerings and the like.  However, this Caribou has done a great job at competing with this Starbucks through a series of promotions.  For example, every Thursday you get a free drink if you put at least $20 on a Caribou gift card.  Even if you want a large, calorie laden specialty drink, it’s free, as long as you add the money to your card.  They also have a trivia question every morning, and correctly answering it gets you a small discount on your order.  There are other, one-time only promotions, like the free Frozen coffee drink day in the summer.

Now I’m not sure if Caribou gives their managers more latitude than Starbucks to put forth these programs, or if this Caribou shop is just better managed than the Starbucks, or if Caribou Coffee’s corporate marketing and promotions team is just superior to Starbucks.  Whatever the answer, the lines in Starbucks are looking shorter, and I haven’t been in the Starbucks in more than a month, and my coworkers and I get a coffee every morning.

One Comment leave one →
  1. K-Diggity permalink*
    September 21, 2007 7:27 pm

    one time when i used to deliver ice i saw a guy buy a 40 of king cobra and “2 squares” at a shitty carryout

    at 9:30 in the morning

    on a tuesday

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