Life Observations through the Lens of Business Acumen


It’s a hot August night…thoughts are unfocused as there is still a lot of summer left. But... there is abusiness-acumen-thoughts nagging feeling in the back of your mind that the fall, the end of Q3, the beginning of Q4, and the new year of 2024 are accelerating around the track faster than we want to think about.

So, as the weekend approaches, what a great time for some everyday reflections through the lens of Business Acumen to keep the mind entertained and refreshed for what will be coming in a few weeks…

  • LinkedIn has an overall of 675 million users from all over the world. Of those, 310 million of them are monthly active users. 165 million users come from the United States while 206 million come from Europe. 62 million come from India, and 50 million come from China. And yet every day in our Strategic Business Selling programs that train sales professionals to build a business network, only 28% of the salespeople in our programs believe there is any value in long-term social selling.
  • My local supermarket is charging for bags. It’s only .10$ a bag but when you think about it, it has a double impact on the financials of the store. They are generating revenues (top line) and eliminating expenses to increase profit (bottom line) simultaneously! Hmmm... 
  • Auto telephone dialers for cold calling are the worst. Companies that use these systems need to rethink their strategy. You may get a few leads here and there, but unprepared telemarketers aimlessly calling the wrong markets and segments will kill your brand. And other brands as well!
  • I spent over $7 for a 30-ounce bottle of Mayonnaise. I looked up the gross margin on Google and the research said the margins were around 14%. Not sure how that is possible. It goes to show you that if one element of the supply chain (eggs) goes out of whack it can hurt an entire product line and category.
  • I’m not a big fan of the “tip jar” or the digital payment tips. I was buying a couple of doughnuts recently on a trip to NY and when I was paying, the system asked for a tip. Do I really have to tip for that? Guilting consumers into tipping – especially when no service is provided – is not good for long-term brand equity. Pay people more so they don’t drive away customers with inappropriate tipping.
  • If I mention just the colors blue, yellow, pink, and white, can you guess which brands I'm talking about? These companies do no advertising but remain some of the most frequently used and respected brands in our daily lives, even though we don't purchase them frequently. Do you know them? Splenda, Sweet and Low, Equal, and Sugar. Never buy them. No Super Bowl commercials, but we all use them multiple times a day.
  • No matter how well you plan, review numbers, evaluate data, and make well-aligned decisions linked to the strategy, the role of people remains critical for the success of any business. As we say at Advantexe, “Leadership is the execution of your business strategy through people.”
  • Every month I receive a letter from my water company recommending that I buy insurance for my water lines because apparently, they are my responsibility. Why? I have never seen them, touched them, don’t know where they are, or for all I know they are made out of 40-year-old spaghetti. Why am I the guardian of the pipes?
  • Cybersecurity is not just the concern of the IT department. While it is an expense the CFO hates to see, its impact reaches every corner of an organization.  Cybersecurity demands management from a cross-functional team involving various departments that understand the effects on revenue, gross margins, expenses, and profitability. It’s kind of like insurance; it is an unnecessary expense until you actually need it.

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Jim Brodo

About The Author

Jim is an award winning marketing executive with a proven background in driving pipeline value and revenue creation