82 episodes

Welcome to The Third Growth Option, a podcast for and by business owners and leaders. We share ideas and insights that help you in your growth journey. In our podcast guests, we look for heart, curiosity, and the desire to share growth lessons. No platitudes and cliches, but stories about growth or tools that helped grow a business or improve the industry or become a better leader, and how they came to embrace an insight. During three decades as a merchant and entrepreneur your host Benno Duenkelsbuehler has built and scaled many growth opportunities from zero (or something) to 8-figure (or bigger) thriving businesses. Our guests are battle-proven leaders in product design, in manufacturing or product sourcing, in marketing and brand building, in operational, technology and executive leadership positions.

The Third Growth Option with Benno Duenkelsbuehler and Guests Benno Duenkelsbuehler

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Welcome to The Third Growth Option, a podcast for and by business owners and leaders. We share ideas and insights that help you in your growth journey. In our podcast guests, we look for heart, curiosity, and the desire to share growth lessons. No platitudes and cliches, but stories about growth or tools that helped grow a business or improve the industry or become a better leader, and how they came to embrace an insight. During three decades as a merchant and entrepreneur your host Benno Duenkelsbuehler has built and scaled many growth opportunities from zero (or something) to 8-figure (or bigger) thriving businesses. Our guests are battle-proven leaders in product design, in manufacturing or product sourcing, in marketing and brand building, in operational, technology and executive leadership positions.

    The Magnificent Seven – Growth Lessons in Retail & Life

    The Magnificent Seven – Growth Lessons in Retail & Life

    Many of you know Warren Shoulberg the journalist, writer, editor, consultant, and singular source of home furnishings industry insights via HFN, Forbes.com, and many others. Here, Warren shares his Magnificent Seven of Retail. Important for manufacturers, vendors, and buyers to hear his thoughts the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly of retail (we talk about a couple dozen retailers, like The Good: Target, RH, Amazon, TJX, Williams-Sonoma brands, Magnolia Home in Waco, TX, good independent specialty retailers, also The Bad: Lame Department Stores, Lame Zombie Brands, and The Ugly: BBB, JCP, and many others.
     
    3:23 – about retail “it’s a business, but there’s a certain flair to it that other businesses don’t have… if you want to understand a (retail) business… just walk into their stores and you’ll get a really good idea about what they’re doing.”
     
    5:03 – about one of the seven membership requirements “that define a good retail business… omni-everything… to reach the consumer however they want to be reached.”
     
    10:20 – “the store as a destination: if you’re going to ask the shopper to go the a physical store, you better make it worth their while… best example is RH, with spectacular physical stores… also a big part of the IKEA story…”
     
    14:17 – about hospitality “retailers are getting back into that… RH is a great example, putting restaurants in all of their stores now… doing as much as 20% of the volume… and hard to get into…”
     
    20:53 – “Right now Target is the best (national) store in America, they’re doing so many things right… they put (a couple billion dollars) back into their stores, they put it into their digital business, same day delivery… and the good old fashioned independent specialty retailer… there are some great stores with clever merchandising.
     
    24:36 – on great merchants vs. big data/AI: “good merchandising overcomes a lot of other bad decisions… but that by itself is not enough... you got to have both.”
     
    You can find Warren’s writing at the Robin Report, Forbes.com, Business of Home, or you can email him at WShoulberg@gmail.com.
     
     

    • 30 min
    Grow Flexibly, from the Ground Up

    Grow Flexibly, from the Ground Up

    Growing 10x from the ground up, instead of by edict from the top down, requires a magic combination of strategy, flexibility, authenticity, finding rock stars (and letting them be chess players, not chess pieces), and in Doug Cofiell’s example also well-integrated acquisitions.
     
    6:39 – “you hire for talent, not necessarily for the exact position… as you build a flexible model, it builds off itself and then it gets cultural… they can set their own tone within these guardrails we establish.”
     
    7:28 – “Having guardrails allows creativity”
     
    9:50 – “If those two people (both best performers) were exact opposites… and did things totally opposite, how can I create a structure where they have to do the same things, and think they’ll do well… we can give them tools… but making them follow this pattern doesn’t work.”
     
    17:49 – about squaring flexibility with complexity “flexibility adds cost… if your business is a certain size you need to build in flexibility (to adapt, to things like the 2021 global supply chain chaos).”
     
    You can reach out to Doug at dcofiell@ivystone.com.

    • 27 min
    Growth and Disaster in the Amazon Jungle

    Growth and Disaster in the Amazon Jungle

    Amazon controls nearly 50% of online sales in the USA, with that comes being loved or hated, and often the latter. Jason Boyce has been an Amazon Seller for 17 years, a Top 200 seller (of millions), he shares successes worth emulating, and how to avoid certain failures and “speed bumps” selling on Amazon. He’s the co-author of Amazon Jungle, where he and Rick Cesari share stories of customer-driven innovation, click-through strategies, reaching page 1 on Amazon search results – with insights from product design to messaging to the nuts and bolts of actively selling on Amazon: build a foundation, drive the traffic, and iterate constantly.
     
    5:20 – “what you do to succeed on Amazon will make you a better businessperson, will make your product better, will make your relationship with your customer stronger… Amazon now is giving to brand-registered brands demographic data… keywords that working well for your, and your competitor…. what products they (consumer) buy (or search) instead of yours.”
     
    7:54 – “I learned the importance of identifying what the market is first, and Amazon is a great place to identify if there’s a market for your bright idea.”
     
    18:30 – to sell on Amazon you must “lay the foundation, drive the traffic, then constantly and relentlessly iterate, on everything, repeatedly… features tell, benefits sell…”
     
    25:00 – “If you’re not there (on Amazon) you’re making your competitor stronger off your good name… every buyer in America (buyer, not end-consumer) has a Prime App on their phone and if you’re trying to sell them… they’re doing their research and ask ‘are you selling on Amazon?’ “
     
    You can reach out to Jason on LinkedIn (Jason R Boyce) or through www.Avenue7Media.com.
     
     

    • 31 min
    Digital Transformation – Do or Die?

    Digital Transformation – Do or Die?

    Marvin Dejean removes a bit of mystery around the crucial topic of “digital transformation”, also personal or just “transformation”. We talk about his TIP-squared framework (technology and trends, innovation and insights, people and platforms), how to approach transformation, and avoid pitfalls.
     
    3:36 – “learn to dominate your fear… if you don’t transform willingly… then the market, a competitor, the universe, something is going to force you to do it, or you’re going to be wiped out.”
     
    6:34 – “people define digital transformation in different ways… the word is misused… take out the word “digital” it's about transformation.”
     
    8:24 – “it’s effecting everything… how we market, how we do strategy… how we work, how we innovate… it is bringing more people into the fold in terms of decision-making.”
     
    9:07 – about the Tip-squared framework of digital transformation for legacy companies “they’re going to be hit by this wave and won’t know what to do, how to transform or adapt naturally, whether you’re talking about BlockBuster, Kodak, BlackBerry, the wave hit, and they did not know how to pivot.”
     
    10:58 – “legacy companies need a simple way to transform, to simplify digital transformation.”
     
    16:30 – “Start with one project, or one team… get a result… get comfortable and get buy-in… then: what’s next?”
     
    25:50 – framing your business (taxi vs. transportation) is key, “all products and services, because of digital transformation, are becoming commoditized… the point is: start somewhere… trying a new technology… reading up on digital transformation, talk to your customer to see how they’re shifting towards what’s easier and faster.”
     
    You can find Marvin on LI, or email him at mdejean@gileadsanders.com .

    • 32 min
    All about pop-up stores

    All about pop-up stores

    Pop-up stores come in all types, and both retailers and manufacturers launch them for different reasons. Andy Bailen has deep experience and “spills the beans” with us in this episode.
     2:21 – “All Things Retail (a weekly newsletter) came out of my interest in providing guidance and help and actionable content for retailers (of all sizes).”
     This conversation about pop-up stores – which Andy has successfully conceptualized and rolled out with big box retailers, and smaller players – serves the same purpose: it provides guidance and helps with actionable content for retailers looking for additional growth avenues. You can reach Andy at abailen@3peconsulting.com – he enjoys meeting other business leaders and answering their questions.

    • 28 min
    Entrepreneur’s Brand: Being the Mac Man, LI Coach, Content Strategist

    Entrepreneur’s Brand: Being the Mac Man, LI Coach, Content Strategist

    If a bear roars in the woods and nobody hears him, did it really happen? Brian Burke the Mac Man shares his thoughts on personal branding, his entrepreneurial journey from a dorm room business to running a 20+ employee company that has purchased over $45,000,000 in used Apple equipment, and how he helps others with content strategy, creating a post with over 13,000 likes, SEO, and more.
     1:12 – personal branding “helps others to help us, helps us to find clients… if you have the same title as everyone else, no one cares… you have to have a unique name/title.”
     5:17 – on a social media post that created engagement with over 13,000 likes “LI is a social network… if you are trying to sell… people gravitate away… things that are uplifting tend to do well on LI, things around kindness and inspiration.”
     13:12 – on personal brand “the combination of ‘be yourself’, find whatever ‘makes you, you’ and then own it… and be consistent!”
     17:21 – “The #1 thing for SEO is having really good content… you want Google to send people right to that page (your content) and then have the call to action on there… to take people to the next stage in the process.”
     20:04 – “creating valuable content is a very different skill set from amplifying that correctly through SEO and social media.”
    You can find Brian Burke the Mac Man on LI, and he loves connecting and helping.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Darin V ,

Growth, growth, growth!

If you’re interested in what it takes to grow a business, check out this podcast. Benno has excellent guests on the show and the topics are informative, inspiring and entertaining.

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