Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sayonara, Dunwoody Green Market

Via email this afternoon:

The DunwoodyGreenMarket has officially closed and will not re open in 2015.
Over the last 10 years, we have been asked to relocate the market five times for various reasons to other locations within the city. With each move, we lost a portion of our customer base and without that weekly customer support; the market loses its viability.
We believe the Wednesday market has run its course in Dunwoody and no longer makes good business sense to continue.
For those of you that have supported us through the years, we truly appreciate your business and hope that you will continue to buy good, local food and other fine products from us at other metro markets.
Through the years, we have all forged good friendships within the community and it will be missed.
Listed below are a few vendors that asked to be listed for future contact.
Heirloom Gardens
Cuisine by Lisa Rochon
Fry Farm
Alta Cucina
Natural Almond
Indigo Bath and Body
www.indigosoaps.comIndigo on Facebook
Heritage Farms
I never feel good about watching a local business close.  But the days of this enterprise were numbered from the start and they did not have to be.

What lessons did we learn from the Green Market?

1)  "Squatting" is not a viable strategy when location is critical to customer retention.
The Green Market never had a space to call its own and I'm not sure how hard they tried to find one.
Check out the commentary from THREE YEARS AGO.

2)  Tangled knots of contradictory regulations by your friends on Dunwoody City Council do not substitute for 1) above.  
Lynn Deutsch and John Heneghan are famous for their support of anything having to do with livestock ownership and their own vision of "farming".  In a city council meeting of October 2013, they adamantly stripped any leniency in home business licensing in the code rewrite to restrict "commercial activity".  Then, in the same meeting, only a few minutes later, Deutsch advocated for a special clause in the new code to allow for "farmers' markets" to set up without permits or any restrictions in church parking lots - which are in residential areas.  In short, she advocated for commercial activity in residential areas for her personal interests, right after condemning the very same activity for anyone else.
Here's the original blog post.  The videos referenced and linked in it have conveniently disappeared.  However my memory of the event has not and will play a big part in how the voting members of my household approach Election Day.
(The official video from City Hall is working, even if you're not using Internet Explorer)

Can Dunwoody do any better for "open fair" type markets?

Yes, and I have long believed we should.  Pick out a location that can be designated for a community market.  Or assist a landlord in providing a space.  My original idea about the Ace Hardware Sprouts Market won't work today but other spaces may be available.  Make sure that the zoning in place will support the activity without forcing any of its advocates to blatantly contradict themselves.  Depending upon who or what enterprise wants to make use of that space and the fees for doing so, we may just come up with that peaceful, eclectic community that some of our local personalities long for.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

EMV Cards are on the way - is your business ready?

EMV cards are the next step in credit card security.  Instead of storing account data in a magnetic strip that can be swiped and copied, the data is stored in an electronic chip that encrypts the data uniquely every single time a transaction is made.  No more stories on the news about how a minimum-wage employee sneaked in a skimming device and stole customer data.  Ditto for ATMs and gas pumps.

Article from Forbes, reposted to LinkedIn - EMV Shift will change liability rules for fraud

Overview from

But the method to use these cards in transactions requires a completely different type of card reader to read the chip.  Whether you run a permanent storefront, e-commerce shop online, or are a mobile microbusiness (think food trucks and festivals) YOU are affected and will need to make some changes soon.

Is your payment processor ready?  If you have been to Food Truck Thursdays, you've seen and engaged in the payment processor Square.
EMV Overview from Square

Square devices capable of reading EMV cards are shipping this spring.  Sign up for updates at the link above.  Pre orders of EMV-capable scanners are available for a small fee.

PayPal Here:  Their initial rollout to compete with Square was a tangled cluster and I don't know anyone who uses this variation of PayPal.  But if you do, know that numerous searches have turned up empty for EMV technology.  Methinks the EMV migration will be just as problematic as the initial swipe device rollout.

Intuit/QuickBooks:  Intuit, the producers of Quicken and Quickbooks are promoting Point of Sale (POS) devices that are EMV ready.  If you are using Quickbooks for your sales, check them out now.

For those of you who are strictly e-commerce focused, there won't be much to change.  There will still be card numbers, security codes, and expiration dates that can be entered in your checkout software.

October 2015 is the drop-dead date for the conversion to EMV cards so start planning now!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Include Your Social Media Accounts in Your Final Arrangements

Talking about writing a will has to be one of the top ten most uncomfortable conversations.  But any family that has had to settle an estate will tell you the effort will make the process easier on the survivors.

Social media networks now have procedures in place to close or otherwise address the status of your accounts after your passing.  Some people find comfort in reviewing old posts and photos by their loved one;  others are just creeped out.

For both LinkedIn and Twitter, a next of kin or executor can contact the admin desk and make a request.

LinkedIn:  Deceased LinkedIn Member - Removing Profile
There is a form at the link to fill out and the information they require is:
  • The member's name
  • The URL to their LinkedIn profile
  • Your relationship to them
  • Member's email address
  • Date they passed away
  • Link to obituary
  • Company they most recently worked at
Profiles will be completely removed and not preserved

The information required to deactivate the account is basically the same as LinkedIn.  However, Twitter also requires that the person reporting the death provide a copy of their legal ID.  AND - all information has to be sent via US Mail to an address listed at the above link.  The process takes a while.

Facebook has taken a proactive approach.  Every member is now permitted to designate a Legacy Contact, who can perform some management tasks after your passing.  They won't be able to post as you, but they can change pictures, decide to download your photos, etc.  

Best of all, you don't have to jump through a ton of extra hoops to have an account managed for a deceased person.  The Memorialization Request is simple and just requires a single proof (online obituary, etc) to show the person has actually died.  Once that is confirmed, the Legacy Contact can take over the account per the deceased owner's request.  (More about Memorialized Accounts on Facebook.)

Take a few moments and make future plans for your social media.  It will make the details easier on your survivors.