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Archive for the ‘Starbucks’ tag

Mobile macchiatos

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As reported today in the New York Times, mobile payment service Square has partnered with omnipresent caffeine pusher Starbucks to make it even easier for you to pay for that double-shot every morning.

Square was founded by Jack Dorsey, the same guy who started Twitter, and lets businesses use their mobile devices as on-site cash registers to process credit card payments. I’ve used the service to purchase things, and it’s worked seamlessly every time.

So, apart from the fact that you’ll be able to pay without a wallet (or even taking your phone out of your pocket), this partnership means consumers could get a lot more comfortable with mobile payments.

Though smartphone payments have a long way to go before they replace wallets altogether, Starbucks’s adoption of Square will catapult the start-up’s technology onto street corners nationwide, and is the clearest sign yet that mobile payments could become mainstream.

“Anyone who’s going to break the mobile payments barrier in the U.S. has to overcome the resistance to try anything new when everything we have works really, really well, even cash, which is very convenient,” said Bill Maurer, director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine.

According to our latest research, 36 percent of landscapers use iPhones for both personal and business use, and just slightly less use an Android phone. Twenty-five percent use an iPad. Those numbers are up from 2011, and will continue to rise in the next few years.

So, to review: Increasingly wired customers are getting exposed to a more seamless way to pay on the spot for goods and services, while at the same time contractors are more and more equipped with the tools to run that very technology.

Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Make mine a double.


August 8th, 2012 at 1:21 pm


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As someone who loves magazines, I read a lot. But one of my favorite issues all year is Businessweek’s annual How-To issue. The magazine dedicates much of its coverage to a series of small, as-told-to pieces that explain how to accomplish many practical (and not-so-practical) goals.

This year’s issue, which came out earlier this month, did not disappoint, and there’s lots of great stuff for any business owner. You can find all the stories online, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter (above) on how to fire someone (without resorting to the bat).
  • Chicago mayor and well-known firebrand Rahm Emanuel on how to motivate people.
  • How to run a board meeting.
  • Howard Schutlz on how to make coffee (gasp) at home.
  • Google VP Marissa Mayer on how to avoid burnout. Hint: it involves dinner and soccer games.
  • And, in case your negotiations or motivation don’t go as planned,  Manny Pacquiao’s former trainer Freddie Roach teaches you how to take a punch.



April 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Marketing idea of the day

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I’m on the road at the 2010 Irrigation Association show in Phoenix and spotted this displayed at the counter of the Starbucks.

The program is called 12 Days of Sharing. Starting Dec. 1st, the company offers a different incentive — an advent calendar of sorts for the caffeine-addicted.

They’ve offered buy-one-get-one-free deals, donations to AIDS charities and, above, $5 gift cards for purchases.

It’s a clever way to encourage repeat traffic around a holiday theme — and an idea any lawn care or landscaping company could steal (or modify) for its own referral program. Depending on your region and market, you could do it seasonally could offer gift cards to a local garden center in the spring, passes to an area amusement park in the summer and tickets to a football game in the fall.

Or you could set up smaller offers — gift cards to restaurants or gas stations — to roll out every week.

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December 6th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

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