Thursday, August 28, 2008


It's been kinda quiet in cyberspace over the last couple of days. I haven't really found any posts that have knocked my socks off that I've wanted to share, so I though I'd dig up a few posts I wrote way back when I first started writing Jim Sharp.

Give to Get

How Do You Present Yourself?

Teaching at Beauty or Grooming Schools?

What Are Your Prices

Don't forget that the Anaheim Wolff/ Huff Show is coming up soon. There are still a few seat available, so if you're interested, be sure to give us a call.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


As I grew up, one of my favorite board games was Monopoly. I loved what it taught about risk, money, and business. It's a tool I now use to help teach my children about all three of these things.

That's why I was excited when I found this post on Business Pundit today. It illustrates many of the ways the game mimics what we do everyday in our businesses. Take a look.

Image: N00

Monday, August 25, 2008


Just got a link to this site promoting a new shear called ShearFuzion. It's a combination shear/comb developed by a barber in downtown Pittsburgh. Take a look at the site here.


Friday, August 22, 2008


This is just a heads up. I've been adding all the Kenchii Beauty Shears to the Wolff website over the past two days. Except for a few shears, you'll see that only the part numbers are listed. I'll be adding the pictures next week. Once I'm finished with the beauty shears, I'll start on the ones for the grooming industry.

Image: Wolff Industries

Thursday, August 21, 2008


How to figure wattage is a question I get a lot, especially when it comes to choosing the right inverter. Last year I wrote a post about this. It's been a while, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to point you back to that post (click here).

Let me know if you have any questions, and be sure to check out the link at the bottom of the post. It leads to a great online tool that will allow you to do all kinds of power calculations.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A few days ago I wrote about Word of Mouth. A big part of Word of Mouth is Branding, but Branding doesn't have to be hard. People think you need to be a Marketing Genius to "really" market yourself, but in reality, it's as simple as solving a problem, planning your work, and working your plan.

Click here to take a look at an interview with David Vinjamuri, author if Accidental Branding. It will give you a little more insight into the subject of branding and introduce you to a book that may benefit you if you read it.

Image: will-lion

Monday, August 18, 2008


I came across this article while perusing online. It talks about the importance of having good literature that comes up along side all of your marketing efforts. Take a look here.

Image: mark78

Friday, August 15, 2008


Wow! Over 55000 page views! Thanks for all the attention! I'm always amazed at the number of hits Jim Sharp gets each day. I hope you're continuing to get a lot out of this blog. It's the best medium I've found to pass Wolff news and info I find on the web along to you.

If you have any topic suggestions for Jim Sharp, or On The Edge, please let me know. The best way to get in touch with me is by e-mail at

While I'm writing this, let me pass along an update on the Wolff/ Huff Show that takes place October 17-19 in Anaheim, CA. The show is half full as of today, so there are still seats available, but remember that seating is limited to 50. The cost to attend the show is $89 and the room rate at the host hotel is $89/ night. If you've never been to one of these shows, you should consider coming. The seminars are great, but the real benefit to shows like these is the networking you get to do with other sharpeners. The ideas you pick up will help improve your skills and grow your business.

Image: cameraslayer

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Yesterday I went to hear Geno Church from Brains on Fire speak about Word of Mouth (WOM) Marketing. His seminar was excellent! Since we as sharpeners rely so heavily on WOM, I wanted to share a few of the topics Geno talked about.

Buzz Marketing
Definition - Using news, entertainment, and other media to get people talking about your service and brand. To learn more about Buzz Marketing, check out this book.

Evangelist Marketing
Definition - Cultivating evangelists, advocates, or volunteers who are encouraged to take a leadership role in actively spreading the word on your behalf. To learn more about Evangelist Marketing, click here.

Product Seeding
Definition - Placing the right product into the right hands at the right time, providing information or samples to influential people. To learn more about Product Seeding, click here.

Influencer Marketing
Definition - Identifying key communities and opinion leaders who are likely to talk about products and have the ability to influence the opinions of others. To learn more about Influencer Marketing, click here.

Referral Programs
Definition - Creating tools that enable satisfied customers to refer their friends. To learn more about Referral Programs, click here.

I'll be writing a series geared specifically for sharpeners on these five topics in On The Edge over the next few months. Click here if you'd like to find out more about this newsletter.

These five topics were not the only ones Geno touched on, there were six others. But these five were the most applicable to sharpeners in my opinion. To view all eleven, click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


How are you using new technology? Well, maybe not new. Let's face it, e-mail has been around for a while now, but how are you using it? Are you collecting e-mails from your customers?

I know I've written recently about hand written notes, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use new tools as well. One of the ways to utilize e-mail is follow up. Instead of following up with a phone call, ask the stylist, groomer, or any other customer for their e-mail address. Tell your customer you prefer to follow up this way so you don't have to disturb them during their work day. Once you have the address, when you follow up, ask permission to send an e-mail to them to let them know when you will be in their area next time. Once you have their permission to e-mail them, you can use this medium to occasionally promote sales or specials you may be running.

Just be careful how you use any electronic media as a contact tool. As Seth Godin said today in his blog,

"We use technology to insulate us from our customers instead of bringing us closer."

Remember that all of these things are tools to use in your business, but nothing will ever replace genuine relationships. Use these tools to build those relationships!

Image: andykaufman

Monday, August 11, 2008


In my post last Thursday, I said, "...remember that one of the reasons businesses don't excel is people aren't willing to do the hard work it takes to be successful." Seth Godin reinforces that in one of his posts today. Click here to take a look.

Image: Christolakis

Friday, August 8, 2008


The IRS is on the move and looking to crack down on income from internet sales. This won't have an effect on many sharpeners, but a few of us do sell quite a bit online. According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a "part of the housing rescue package that President George W. Bush is expected to sign within days, [that] will require PayPal and other processors of online payments to report annual gross receipts to the IRS for all but the smallest online merchants."

To see if this may effect you, click here to view the complete article.

Image: cayusa

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I received a very nice hand written note from a new friend I made at the MeetUp meeting I attended last Tuesday. She is the owner of Healthy Lounge in Downtown Greenville, SC. It's a unique concept that mixes relaxation and efficiency. Feeling a little stressed out, or need some "me" time? Healthy Lounge provides a place to unwind quickly. Anyone that visits Downtown Greenville should check it out.

But the point of this post is not the fact that Healthy Lounge is a great business concept, but that it's owner is so proficient in marketing it. I was surprised by the note I received (and small VIP gift)! I was even more surprised by how quickly it was sent; which shows the importance of timely response.

I've written about sending hand written notes over at Interaction Sells, but I wanted to stress this here as well. It is rare in this day-and-age to receive anything hand written. When one receives a note like this, it really stands out. I know many of you talk to stylists, groomers, or other customers that say no to your service every day. What kind of impression do you think you would make if, when you take their card home with you, you sat down and wrote a nice "short" hand written note thanking them for their time, and letting them know you look forward to talking with them the next time you're passing through. Will it make an impression? Will it stand out? You bet it will!

Now I know what you're saying, "That would take too much time." It does take time, but please remember that one of the reasons businesses don't excel is people aren't willing to do the hard work it takes to be successful. Don't be one of those people! It does take time to write a note, but try it. Write one after you called call someone, sell something, or sharpen a tool. Try it for a week or two and see what happens. The results may surprise you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Last night I was at one of my monthly networking meeting. It's not a networking meeting in the business sense, but it's a place I go to learn and be inspired by other entrepreneurs in my area. You should look for groups like this too. I found this one through MeetUp.

This monthly trip got me thinking about networking as a business tool, and whenever I think of networking, I think of Jason Jacobsohn. He writes a excellent blog called, Networking Insight, and in a recent post he wrote about millennials. Who are they? They are people born between 1980 and 2000, and if you sharpen for stylists, you know a few of them.

Take a look at what Jason has to say about this unique group, and how they interact with each other and view the world. One key to business growth is understand your customer. Bridging generation gaps is hard, learn what you can. Click here to view Jason's post.

Image: rachelvacek

Monday, August 4, 2008


I just read a post by Megan Dorn on the Start Up Blog about collecting bad debt. It got me thinking about how we can collect bad debt as sharpeners.

Sometimes, at least in our businesses, it seems like chasing delinquent customers is a waste of time. But let's face it, in this economy ever dollar counts. So let me give you two ways I've collected from customers in my mail order business.

Hungry Kids
This one is for the people that owe you sharpening money. I sharpened a bunch of clipper blades for a customer, sent my bill, and never saw a check. Four weeks went by and I sent a reminder; still no payment. Six weeks, another reminder; still no payment. At nine weeks she got a polite phone call. She apologized and told me, "The check is in the mail." Can you guess what happened? Yup! No payment. I figured the conventional way wasn't going to work. So I waited one more week and then sent a picture of my children eating with this note attached, "I'd like to keep doing this. Let me know when you can send that check." I was paid two days later.

Give to Get
This one owed me money for a shear. She paid me 50% up front and I told her she could pay the rest in 60 days. I sent a reminder out about two weeks before the due date, but the check never came. So I waited two more weeks and mailed her another reminder, but this one came with a nice little case for the shear with this note, "Just in 'case' you forgot about that last reminder. :)" I was paid the next week.

Don't Be Afraid to Be Creative
This is a much better way to collect if you can. Of course some people are just dead-beats and you'll have to decided whether collecting it is worth going to court over. It's easy to get mad when customers don't pay. Relax! Take a step back and look for some fun ways you can get paid. Anyone else have some stories?

Image: ian_jarvis


Well what do you know! I'm not spam after all. In reality, the whole spam thing was just a glitch in Blogger's system. Apparently many of my blogging brothers and sisters were issued this same notice. All has been corrected and Jim Sharp is safe and sound. Just wanted to let everyone know, but still send your e-mail address just the same. At some point I will most likely reorganize this blog and I'd like to let you know when I do with more than just a post.


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Just a heads up! Jim Sharp has been flagged as spam by Google, so I'm not sure what might happen to this blog in the next few days. I have a form I need to fill out that should resolve this, but if it doesn't, I'll just start back up on another platform.

Spam is a serious issue for Google and other platforms that offer free blogs, so on occasion, a blog like mine is flagged. It is good that they are trying to crack down on problem blogs. If you still haven't sent me your e-mail address to get on my sharpeners list, this would be the time to do it so I can update you if I need to move Jim Sharp else wear. To get on my list, just send an e-mail to and write "add me to the list" in the subject line.