Why every small business owner should read the Costco Connection

OK! It’s day 6 of the 30-Day Blogging challenge. One of my main reasons for starting this 30-day-blogging challenge is that my New Year Resolutions for 2013 was to “Tell More Stories”. Over the year I have found that learning how to share your life experiences and tell good stories is much harder than I thought. Thankfully this blogging challenge came along in the month of November, which is is also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Now speaking of writing novels, like most people, I’ve always thought that I had a book in me. And if I did end up writing a book, it would probably look a lot like the first 6 blog entries I just wrote.

Chapter 1: Introducing the 30-Day Blogging Challenge!
Chapter 2: Food & Chili Cookoffs
Chapter 3: Relaxing at the beach My top 5 Beaches in Palm Beach County
Chapter 4: Technology & Community organizing (BarCamp)
Chapter 5: Local Business & Organic Food
Chapter 6: CostCo

Before leaving work yesterday I got a call from Ashley Porter over at WPTV that they want me to come on new show “The List” (not to be confused with “The Blacklist“) to talk about my 5 top beaches in Palm Beach County. I’ve got to be in the studio by 8 so I’d better get on with the the main topic of this post.

I am not a big magazine reader, in fact out of all the magazine subscriptions I have, the only ones I read from cover to cover are Make and The Costco Connection.

1. Great Content focused at Small Businesses

Content is KING! And Costco has a great way of bringing good content into their monthly magazine. In this month’s Holiday Themed issue they have the following articles:

Whine Experts: Creative Solutions to turn unhappy Customers into loyal Clients

  • Set expectations early by making business policies clear and upfront.
  • Be proactive and take action at the first sign of discontent.
  • Handle the issue quickly
  • Thank the customer for bringing the problem to your attention
  • Listen t the customer and show sincere empathy
  • Ask how the customer would like to see the situation resolve.

Taylor made – How a fledgling business became an industry leader

“While it’s no industry secret that Taylor makes a first-rate product, the company’s David-and-Goliath business is not as well known. Company founders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, both Costco members, are the only American luthiers in the past 100 years to take an acoustic guitar company from a two-man production-level manufacturer without relinquishing ownership or creative control. Today the company employs more than 700 people, producing hundreds of quality instruments daily that range from about $300 to $20,000 and beyond.”

Taylor Guitars – A Small Business Success Story

2. Thought-Provoking Discussion

The Costco Connection pushes boundaries when it comes to discussing issues with their readers. In previous editions The Boston Bombing, Obamacare, Commercial bank separation from Investment and other hot topic issues were discussed. In this issue the “Informed Debate” is Should the DUI limit be lifted.

Costco encourages their readers to write in with their comments.

Should the DUI limit be lowered?

Also in this months edition is a useful article for small business owners on “Dealing with Debt Collectors” by David and Amanda Horowitz, as well as questions and answers on Wills with Suze Orman.

3. Great Technology Focus

The Costco connection is breaking ground in their use of technology to bridge the gap between the physical magazine and their online and store presence. Using watermarking technology which is embedded into both the articles & many of the advertisements, users of the Costco smartphone app can seamlessly move from the paper magazine to the online version. Making it as simple as possible to buy stuff, which is after all the purpose of this magazine.

Connect your magazine with your smartphone!

Not just does the magazine itself use high-tech features, but also covers technology in other fields such as healthcare as displayed in their  “Diabet-tech: Technology advances help manage and maintain diabetes” article.

3. Socially Responsible

Costco has long been known as a very socially responsible company. From offering their employees the best pay in the retail market, to picking the highest quality suppliers and treating them fairly, Costco is a good company to do business with.

Taking that one step farther in this week’s issue, The Costco Connection discusses the colony collapse disorder that is plaguing the bee colonies and seriously jeopardizing the future of our food sources.

Socially responsible articles

4. Holiday Gift stories that even guys will enjoy

I just don’t like buying gifts, and like reading feel-good stories about how to pick gifts even less. However, when you have a business and want to buy your best clients gift baskets, it’s something that has to be done. This month’s Costco Connection does it in a way that is easy for even a guy with a tiny attention span, like me, to navigate.

Thanks to Costco, gift buying is now simple!

Also in this month’s edition is “Handmade with Love – Author Debbie Macomber discusses the joys of making gifts.

In conclusion

I hope my Costco Fanboyism isn’t showing too much, but I enjoy The Costco Connection and feel that it is the perfect magazine for the small business owner.